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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So, I had an interesting thing happen to me this week. I got a ticket in the Volt because I was driving in Low and using regeneration to slow down for a stop light and not using the brake pedal much. The cop that pulled me over asked if there was anything wrong with the brakes in the car and I told him that they worked perfectly fine. He then asked me to press on the brake pedal to verify that they worked. When I did and he checked them he said I was fine to move on.

He continued to follow me and about two stoplights later he pulled me over again saying that my brake lights weren't working. I tried to explain to him that the car uses regenerative braking when you let off the gas and that I wasn't actually using my brakes until I came to a complete stop. He said that this was considered wreckless driving and game me two tickets, one for wreckless driving and one for having non-functioning brake lights.

So, I am going to fight this, but I still think this is something GM may need to take a look at for us who drive in Low. Maybe they should blink the brake lights when you are off of the accelerator for more than a couple seconds. Thoughts, comments?

Outcome:
I met with the city judge this afternoon and he was more interested in talking about the Volt than he was the ticket I think. He asked me why I thought I didn't deserve the ticket and told him the same story as above. Afterwards he said that he wanted to see the car in question so we went out to the parking lot. He started asking me all types of questions about the car and never actually go around to checking the brake lights. As we were walking back in I asked him about it and he said he believed me that they worked and that he really just wanted to see the car.

Once back in the office, he told me that the cop who issued the ticket was a rookie trying to flex his muscle and that they had a lot of problems with him last week. He then over-ruled the ticket and sent me on my why telling me not to worry about it. In the end it wasn't a major deal and it all worked out. Still a bit of a hassle.
 

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Non-functioning brake lights AND wreckless driving?! Haha, that's hilarious!

You can definitely fight it. This is no different than people slowing down by down-shifting in a manual transmission. It's unfortunate he didn't understand, and I'm sorry for your trouble, but you'll look back on this one and laugh.

BTW, the reason why Chevy DID NOT implement brake lights when in Low is because there are NHTSA guidelines for doing so, and the Volt is well within the region where NHTSA does not allow brake lights being applied because it's not slowing down fast enough to warrant it.

My understanding is there's a "do not implement" region, an "optional" region, and a "must implement" region, based on how fast vehicles decelerate, and the Volt is in the first category.
 

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Non-functioning brake lights AND wreckless driving?! Haha, that's hilarious!

You can definitely fight it. This is no different than people slowing down by down-shifting in a manual transmission. It's unfortunate he didn't understand, and I'm sorry for your trouble, but you'll look back on this one and laugh.

BTW, the reason why Chevy DID NOT implement brake lights when in Low is because there are NHTSA guidelines for doing so, and the Volt is well within the region where NHTSA does not allow brake lights being applied because it's not slowing down fast enough to warrant it.

My understanding is there's a "do not implement" region, an "optional" region, and a "must implement" region, based on how fast vehicles decelerate, and the Volt is in the first category.
I'll have to remember that one. I'd love to see the cops face when I tell him that NHTSA doesn't allow the brake lights being applied unless I'm slowing down at a certain rate to warrant it...

MrEnergyCzar
 

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WOW. Seems to me driving in low is the same as driving a manual shift car, and downshifting instead of hitting the breaks. Are manual shift drivers given tickets for that? Is that "reckless driving"?
 

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It's pretty sad the cop that pulled you over didn't have the brain capacity to realize what you were trying to explain. But I'm sure you can easily get those tickets thrown out in court. Sucks that you may have to go to court to get these tickets thrown out, but at least you'd probably be able to embarrass the cop in court, if he even shows. :)
 

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Traffic citations have almost nothing to do with safety, and everything to do with collecting revenue for the municipal coffers. This is a perfect example.
 

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I'd get your Volt Advisor involved. They might take the court case for ya.

The Volt decelerates way slower in low than my HEMI did when using autostick.

I saw a thread here somewhere (can't find it quickly) where the OP compared the Gs of a decelerating Mustang and Volt. The Mustang was WAY more.

BTW, the i3 has brake lights when decelerating.
 

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I'd also report this to your Volt adviser. Who knows, GM may send one of their lawyers down to nip this in the bud.
 

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Stupid, simply just stupid. He is going to get a loser in court.
 

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I have been wondering myself what happens when in Low as far as the brake lights. Seems to me they should go on when slowing down. But it is interesting how this will be handled. Downshifting is the same thing really. I seem to tap my brakes if someone is tail gateting me.
 

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Being a police officer myself I just can't imagine pulling someone over and giving them a ticket for that.
I would, of course, stop someone who had no brake lights. But in this case the brake lights worked
when the diver came to a complete stop.

Reckless driving is a criminal offense in Oregon that takes this incident to another level.

Not wanting to give direct legal advice here, I would obtain a good lawyer with all the documentation of
the Volt's operational functions pertaining to this incident and proceed to trial.
 

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My son used to live in Bedford(falls), In......

I would think a GM statement on regen braking might be useful but even more useful is a statement from the GM dealership that says the brake light operation was checked was found to work as required. I think the reckless is the hard one. You want the cop there to testify on that one. I bet he doesnt show up.
What is he going to say? That you "zoomed" to a complete stop without using the brake pedal until the last 10 feet?
 

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My understanding is there's a "do not implement" region, an "optional" region, and a "must implement" region, based on how fast vehicles decelerate, and the Volt is in the first category.
My understanding was that with the foot off the pedal, it's in the 'optional' region, but well below the deceleration possible from a manual downshifting. With the foot on the pedal though, you'd have to figure out the rate of deceleration, and activate the lights if it's in the use-the-lights-threshold. That, or use g-sensors instead.
 

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Did the Cop say "wreckless"? That should be good because you did not cause a wreck ;-)

This Cop should go and get some education. Hopefully, the Judge will give him a reprimand for reckless ticketing! Its good that majority of Cops are not this clueless.

I drive my Volt on L most of the time. Even with my other ICE cars with Automatic Transmission, I down shift to slow down (D4/D3/2/1). D3 is good for general slowdown. 2 for more drastic slowdown (locks the gear to 2nd) and 1 when I am getting ready to stop at a stop light (I have to admit I dont use 1 very often). On my manuals (long long ago), I used to downshift to slowdown and used the brakes only when absolutely required. As a result, my brakes last a very long time and they are more ready for an emergency application (constantly using the brakes can fade them and they may not work too well when they are really needed)
 

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So, I had an interesting thing happen to me this week. I got a ticket in the Volt because I was driving in Low and using regeneration to slow down for a stop light and not using the brake pedal much. The cop that pulled me over asked if there was anything wrong with the brakes in the car and I told him that they worked perfectly fine. He then asked me to press on the brake pedal to verify that they worked. When I did and he checked them he said I was fine to move on.

He continued to follow me and about two stoplights later he pulled me over again saying that my brake lights weren't working. I tried to explain to him that the car uses regenerative braking when you let off the gas and that I wasn't actually using my brakes until I came to a complete stop. He said that this was considered wreckless driving and game me two tickets, one for wreckless driving and one for having non-functioning brake lights.

So, I am going to fight this, but I still think this is something GM may need to take a look at for us who drive in Low. Maybe they should blink the brake lights when you are off of the accelerator for more than a couple seconds. Thoughts, comments?
I would have put it in D while he was following me and hit the brakes generaously.

Explained here in details (regulations, etc): Do a find for mustang

http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?5801-Frequently-Asked-Questions
 

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I hope you decide to take the effort and time to fight this. Especially if this is in your regular travel and you are likely to encounter this officer again.

I cannot see how this is any different then downshifting in a non EV. Or just plain coasting with no gas or break. Either way you are slowing down with no break lights.

I tried to check nhtsa.gov and they referred me to the Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance at 202-366-5291 for assistance.

Best of luck to you. Please let us all know how this goes.
 
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