My car is a 2005 Subaru Impreza RV, and has asymmetrical tail lights, in particular with one 'round' light being clear, and the other red. Exactly like the below picture. (Same model, not my car pictured).

Image from Hollander Parts Australia

The lights on this side had cracked, and thus the plastic had been damaged over the years by water and so I ordered a replacement for the right side only. However, the 'circle' light on the replacement was clear, like on the left side (I assume the part I order may have come from a left-hand drive market, where the lights were reversed). This red circle light was the rear-fog light, where the left, clear circle light was not (Either a running light or reverse light, can't quite remember.) My question is, whether it is legal to have my rear fog light be clear, and not red. I never use it, so I'm more worried about a cop assuming that it is not a discoloured rear fog light, but a broken reverse/running light. Would I get into trouble over this? I live in the state of New South Wales, Australia.

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    Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! I cannot tell you the legality of it, but would bet you could fit a red bulb in the place of the white bulb. This would light it as it should be lit color wise, which should keep you legal whether the lense was correct or not. Commented Dec 28, 2018 at 8:53

1 Answer 1


It must be red-it will dazzle the heck out of people if its white- a sharp eye police might spot it (but unlikely) but in the UK, it would fail its annual inspection

  • UK law says "white lights at the front and red at the rear" for all purposes, and that also applies to things other than road vehicles - e.g a column of people marching in formation! It also applies to parked vehicles showing lights and facing the wrong way. The issue is not so much dazzling other drivers but the fact that if you are approaching a white light on an unlit road, you naturally assume it is an oncoming vehicle on the opposite side of the road, not something that you have to avoid rear-ending.
    – alephzero
    Commented Dec 28, 2018 at 9:23
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    FWIW it is illegal in the UK to use high intensity red fog lights when there is no fog or when being followed at close range - the standard issue red fog lights on some vehicles are already bright enough to cause dazzle. I once saw a learner driver get pulled over by police for that - they were driving (slowly!) in town at night in perfect visibility conditions and street lighting, with rear fog lights on (presumably because somebody thought it was "safer" to be more visible) and dazzling everyone behind them.
    – alephzero
    Commented Dec 28, 2018 at 9:30

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