Legally Having a Shielded/Obscured Tail-lamp/Stop-lamp

Hi there, this is a two(and-a-half)-part question, any knowledge is much appreciated

  1. In the eyes of the law, if a Tail-lamp/Stop-lamp is “shielded, covered or obscured by any part of the vehicle or load or by dirt or other material” is the Tail-lamp/Stop-lamp in question considered non-existent?
  2. If so,

if an additional set of Tail-lamps/Stop-lamps (non-OEM) are purchased, installed and follow the regulations of a regular Tail-lamp/Stop-lamp:

  • Being visible at an angle of 45° from the longitudinal axis of the motor vehicle
  • Capable of displaying only red light visible from a distance of 100 m to the rear of the vehicle in normal sunlight
  • Mounted higher than 38cm and lower than 1.83m
  • Mounted on the extreme right and left rear of the vehicle.

Is it then legally okay to have the original Tail-lamps/Stop-lamps “shielded, covered or obscured by any part of the vehicle or load or by dirt or other material?”

If not, are there alternative ways to driving with a Tail-lamp/Stop-lamp described in question one legally?

To my understanding only two legal Tail-lamps/Stop-lamps can be working at a given time (with an optional third middle one).

My research and quotes mostly coming from these two links:



Thank you kindly for your knowledge and time.


Typically, when the necessary lamps / reflectors on a vehicle are obscured or not operational for some reason, replacing them other lamps and reflectors that do the job is a satisfactory solution. The remote lamps used by tow trucks are a good example of this. The operators generally don't place them properly but I'm not doing enforcement anymore so...


Thank you so much!

Thank you so much!

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