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Thread: US laws..?

  1. #1
    FLAC robiewp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Massachusetts, US

    US laws..?

    I've had several people tell me that what I was doing was illegal, and I wouldn't pass inspection for it (i know this is state dependant...). Anybody know anything about the actual laws that might be of import?
    car computer rev 5: 8" lilliput and usual suspects

  2. #2
    I'm sorry, and you are....? frodobaggins's Avatar
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    Jan 2003
    Ruston, LA
    Well here is one way around any laws, every state allows an lcd screen for GPS Navigation, just make sure the GPS (Or a screenshot) is always up if you get pulled over or go for inspection.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    What do you mean? Are you not allowed to have a LCD screen without GPS navigation??

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    If it's able to be seen by the driver while the vehicle is in motion... thats pretty much the case.

    Most states (iirc, all of them) prohibit video monitors in cars that can been viewed by the driver. This basically covers any type of lcd screen, (excluding the text-only ones). But like Frodo stated, most have added provisions that allow GPS systems... so by all means if you get pulled over, have your car inspected, etc.. have the GPS displaying if the monitor is on.

    There might be other ways around the laws around the country... but here there are only two legal uses:
    - GPS
    - those that supplement the rear-view mirror
    All other monitor capabilities are illegal.

  5. #5
    Raw Wave hijinks21's Avatar
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    May 2002
    Albany, NY
    here's the deal.. j-walking is illegal too.. how many people get tickets for that. I have a ton of friends who are NY state troopers and they love my setup. Its illegal if the driver can see moving images.. IE movies and such. They said they don't care... but if I were to get in an accident with my computer and screen on.. then lawyers would target me as the one who caused it even if I didn't.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Quote Originally Posted by hijinks21
    here's the deal.. j-walking is illegal too.. how many people get tickets for that.
    There is no doubt quite a bit of tolerance... but all you need is that one ***-hole of a cop to see your monitor while he's driving behind you, or like you stated... an accident where it could be targeted as the cause.

    My old setup had the montior on attached to the dash, so anyone behind me could see it clear as day... While numerous numbers of cops were behind me at stop lights without incident, eventually I ran into that ***-hole. Pulled me over explicitly for the monitor. No ticket, but a notice that it had to be removed, and a trip to the station to prove it (of course it wasn't anything too custom, and was re-installed just a few short hours after showing it was gone).

    Some areas are just more prone to upholding the law in the most strict of manner... heck, I've had to remove the tint on not one, but two cars becuase the tint was too dark.

    The main point is that you should at least have an understanding of the laws wherever you are (and take them into consideration while designing your system).

  7. #7
    Registered User belezeebub's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    There a Number of Cars (mostly) High end that come with pre-installed LCD monitors in the dash (Heck the new VW SUV has one in the instrutment panel)
    so I think as long as you are not watching a Movie while on the freeway you can tell any Cops that pull you over to shove that baton where the sun don't shine.

    I don't see how having a Listing of MP3 tracks on the screen is any more "distracting" then a GPS/ NAV system where you have to follow the little arrow.

    If a Police officers pulls me over for mine onces its installed I think there will be hell to pay for it, but then again I like tilting at windmills its just my personallity.

  8. #8
    Maximum Bitrate owenjh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    I heard that in some states you can have a screen if its for your audio use. What I can't understand about indash units is why the FCC allows the import / production of these units if they are illegal because you can buy them at most good car audio places. I would argue that it is no more distracting then the high end sony units with the visulisations on them like the one below
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  9. #9
    Variable Bitrate Mikesz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    I talked to my uncle who is a police oficer who says that radio functionality is also legal. There are some cars (old and new) with a touchscreen for radio, heat, A/C gas milage, etc. The only thing illegal (as far as I know) is a video display (television or movies) in the view of the driver while the vehicle is moving. Im not sure, but I think most DVD headunits have a wire to connect to the emergency/hand brake to conform to this law. Im in PA by the way.

    91 cadillac sedan deville, winXP, FV25 with Celeron 800, Redant 7" widescreen in dash, Opus DC-DC, Irman, Digital Cable remote(lots of buttons), 120 gig 7200rpm 8meg cache WD hard drive, VI power mobile HD rack, mediaengine

  10. #10
    Constant Bitrate
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Orange County, NY
    Despite my initial thoughts of using the pull out 7" DIN LCD, I decided to fiberglass in my monitor to make it look more stock and less inviting for trouble (from "curious" authorities and less likely to catch the eyes of thieves)...

    I had the opportunity to play with the OEM LCD stereo and navigation unit that is an option in VW Touregs and wish to make my homebuilt system match the simplicity of use the have. As long as I donít have any moving images such as video or even visualizations, I donít see myself having a problem.

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