It is common to see vehicles in Pullman with lift kits, license plate covers, additional lighting, custom stereos, and other modifications. While it can be fun and satisfying to modify your vehicle, some of these modifications can result in a traffic stops and subsequent fines. The list below includes common violations seen by Pullman Police officers, along with several that are lesser known by the motoring public.
Any blue light on a non-emergency vehicle is prohibited in Washington. This can include neon blue lights, blue tinted headlights, blue license plate lights, and other aftermarket modifications. If you have blue lights on the interior of your vehicle, be careful that it is not readily visible from the exterior. A violation of this code (WAC 22.214.171.124) can result in a $124 fine.
Red light visible from the front of a vehicle is prohibited in Washington. A violation of this code (RCW 46.37.280.2) can result in a $124 fine.
Tinted lenses cannot be placed over any required vehicle lighting if that lens impairs the effectiveness of the light. This would include dark tinted headlight, taillight, or brake light covers. A violation of this code (WAC 126.96.36.199) can result in a $124 fine.
License plate equipment
Vehicle license plates must be mounted so they can be seen conspicuously on the vehicle. If two license plates were issued for the vehicle, then both plates must be mounted. A front license plate that is placed in the front windshield can be very difficult to see, and may be a violation. A violation of this code (RCW 46.16A.200.5) can result in a $124 fine.
It is unlawful to transfer license plates between two vehicles in the state of Washington without authorization from the Department of Motor Vehicles. A violation of this code (RCW 46.16A.200.7a) can result in a $1064 fine.
Some license plate holders and covers are prohibited in Washington. License plates need to be plainly seen and readable at all times. License plate holders, covers, and other objects that obstruct the view of identifying numbers and letters are prohibited. A violation of this code (RCW 46.16A.200.7b) can result in a $124 fine.
Mufflers, sound, and stereo equipment
Vehicles operated in Washington are required to have mufflers in good working order. Exhaust systems that are modified in a manner that amplifies or increases the engine sound of a vehicle from the muffler that was originally installed on that vehicle, is prohibited in Washington. A violation of this code (RCW 46.37.390) can result in fines of $134 for the first offense. A second and third offense can result in fines of $175 and $216 respectively.
Stereo equipment such as speaker boxes and amplifiers must be securely mounted in vehicles operated in Washington. A violation of this code (RCW 46.37.680) can result in a $124 fine.
Television screens, or any other screens capable of receiving a television signals, cannot be in view of the driver of a vehicle. A violation of this code (RCW 46.37.480.1) can result in a $124 fine.
Headsets and earphones used to listen to the radio or any other sound recording cannot be worn while driving in the state of Washington. A violation of this code (RCW 46.37.480.2) can result in a $124 fine.
Tires and splash guards
Vehicles that have been “lifted” are acceptable in Washington as long as the necessary splash guards have been installed. Washington requires that splash guards or mud flaps be installed so as to cover the width of the tires, and extend to the center of the axle. A violation of this code (RCW 46.37.500) can result in a $124 fine.
Unsafe tires on vehicles operated on Washington roadways are prohibited. Violation of this code (RCW 46.37.425) can result in a $124 fine. Several factors can be taken into account in determining whether a vehicle tire is unsafe, such as:
An exposed cord or ply
Bumps or bulges in the tire.
Tread depth of less than 2/32 of an inch
Any other defect that can be reasonably deemed unsafe
Studded snow tires are only allowed between November 1st and April 1st. The Department of Transportation can extend these dates if deemed necessary. A violation of this code (RCW 46.37.420) can result in a $124 fine.