This Guy Ingeniously Fixed a Taillight with a Sports Drink Bottle

As a genuine taillight enthusiast—I’ve been to Tailcon 15 years running and cosplayed as a Ford Cortina taillight for the last three—I can honestly say I’m delighted to see this sort of clever junkpile engineering happening to do a temporary fix on a taillight. If you can’t find any red lens tape or a scrap of red translucent plastic, why not try a bottle of red-colored/flavored sports drink?

This happened in Longmont, Colorado, when police pulled over the driver of a truck because instead of an actual taillight, he had a plastic bottle of a translucent red liquid, likely packed with the electrolytes your body needs, acting as a taillight lens.


Longmont Police posted the incident on their Facebook page, stating both their appreciation for the ersatz fix and the relevant legal requirements:

While we appreciate the ingenuity of this tail light, this is not a permanent solution. Working tail lights prevent accidents.

CRS Colorado Revised Statutes Title 42 Vehicles and Traffic § 42-4-215 Signal lamps and devices—additional lighting equipment (1) To be operated on a road, any motor vehicle may be equipped, and when required under this article must be equipped, with a stop lamp or lamps on the rear of the vehicle that, except as provided in section 42-12-204 , display a red or amber light, or any shade of color between red and amber, visible from a distance of not less than one hundred feet to the rear in normal sunlight, that are actuated upon application of the service (foot) brake, and that may but need not be incorporated with one or more other rear lamps.

If your tail lights are broken, please get them repaired.

They did not charge the driver, and, good to the driver’s word, ran into him again at a repair shop, getting the light repaired.

I’d also like to point out that the thread provided Facebook user David Simons with a chance to make an all-too-rare but very effective back-up light joke:


When was the last time you heard a joke about reverse lights? Mighty fine work there, Dave.

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About the author

Jason Torchinsky

Senior Editor, Jalopnik • Running: 1973 VW Beetle, 2006 Scion xB, 1990 Nissan Pao, 1991 Yugo GV Plus • Not-so-running: 1973 Reliant Scimitar, 1977 Dodge Tioga RV (also, buy my book!)