Trooper Stephen Hammons visited 'Mornings With Ken and Bernie' today and discussed secondary violations, fines and illegal modifications of vehicle lights.

What seems to be decorative covers seen on tail lights is actually an illegal modification.  Trooper Hammons said,

What appears to be a cover is actually paint that has been applied to the tail lights that reduces the visibility of the light.  Louisiana State law requires that taillights be visible from 500 feet and this modification certainly makes it harder to see a braking condition especially on a bright sunny day..If you are involved in an accident we will indicate your taillights were painted which will increase your liability.

When asked why fines for traffic violation varied greatly Hammons said,

Statewide fines for seat belt and texting while driving violations are the only fines that are uniform across the state.  All other traffic violations have prescribed lower and upper limits that may be imposed by a judge.

We've often heard the term "secondary violation" and we asked Hammons to clarify the term.

According to Hammons,

A secondary violation could be someone wearing a pair of headphones while driving.  It is not illegal to wear one headphone but wearing two is.  An officer can't stop you for a headphone violation but if you are stopped for speeding while wearing two headphones you could be charged with speeding and a secondary violation involving the headphones.


Listen to the interview: