It often went something like this: "I've stopped you because you don't have any reflectors." "But I have lights, I don't need reflectors!" "What happens if you are stranded at night and can't turn the lights on? Here's a repair order for your vehicle." "Don't you have anything better to do?"
Clearly this driver felt that his time was being taken up over a trivial matter. The trouble is, he hasn't had the experience I had in traffic enforcement. I can point to a fatal collision that I helped investigate where a man might still be alive today if all the reflectors on his disabled vehicle hadn't been broken. It wasn't a trivial matter for this man and his family.
I often marveled at some vehicle owner's resistance to spending a few dollars to maintain their vehicle. I also wished that I was able to gently pass along the experiences I had that showed how important maintenance could be. It only takes 6 reflectors, two on each side and two on the rear to bring most vehicles into compliance.
The exception to this is with commercial vehicles and some older vehicles. Depending on their size, reflective striping may also be required on commercial vehicles. Older vehicles may not require as many reflectors as modern vehicles do.