Question: Is it a violation if the third brake light quits working on a passenger vehicle? What about a
vehicle that is equipped with a brake light(s) that flash or pulsate?
Answer: The state statute says that a vehicle equipped with stop lamps or signal lamps shall at all times
be maintained in good working condition. So all brake lights, including the 3rd one, would have to be
operational when activated.
Flashing lights are prohibited, except on an authorized emergency vehicle, school bus, bicycle, road
maintenance equipment, tow truck or towing vehicle, service vehicle, farm tractor, self-propelled farm
equipment, rural mail carrier vehicle, funeral home vehicle, or on any vehicle as a means of indicating a
right or left turn.
Frequently walk around your vehicle and check all the lights, turn signals, license plate lights and high
beams. Replace all faulty lights as soon as possible for your safety and others that share the road.
Remember that cracked tail lenses must be replaced so the white light does not illuminate through.
Law enforcement officers conduct traffic stops due to many types of equipment violations. The most
common ones that I see are: Headlights/Taillights out Cracked tail lenses Rear license plate lights out Cracked windshield
Window tint violations Suspended objects from rearview mirror No seatbelt use
Bumper height violations Unsecured loads
The Minnesota State Patrol does not issue, “Fix It Tickets”. All of our traffic stops are stored in our
computer system, so all MSP past contacts can be viewed by Troopers on current traffic stops. For
example, if a vehicle was stopped for a window tint violation and that vehicle is stopped again, that
Trooper can see if a citation or warning was issued and when it occurred. This helps us make the
decision if a citation or warning will be issued due to prior contacts with that vehicle and driver.
You can avoid a ticket — and a crash — if you simply buckle up, drive at safe speeds, pay attention and
always drive sober. Help us drive Minnesota Toward Zero Deaths.
If you have any questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota send your questions to
Sgt. Troy Christianson – Minnesota State Patrol at 2900 48th Street NW, Rochester MN 55901-5848.