The feature is certainly legal.

Imagine driving through the supermarket parking lot on a crowded Sunday afternoon. Spots are limited, coveted prizes to those with cat-like reflexes and the guts to weave in and out of traffic without a care of a fender bender. You’re creeping along an aisle, looking for someone ready to leave, and then you notice reverse lights – a saving grace. As you stop, waiting, the car doesn’t move. Time slowly ticks by, a line of flustered drivers growing behind you, until the reverse lights distinguish. You move on, still looking for an open spot.

That’s one frustration submitted to Roadshow’s Cooley On Cars YouTube series. Apparently, when you lock or unlock a late-model GM vehicle, the reverse lights turn on. It has the user questioning if the feature is even legal under U.S. law and regulations. According to Brian Cooley, the feature falls well within legality.

Reverse lights must follow a few simple rules. Reverse lights must be steady burning, which means they can’t flash. They must come on when the car is on and when the car is in reverse gear. Reverse lights can’t come on when the car is ever traveling forward. And finally, one reverse light is needed by law.

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Dig into the system settings of a 2018 Chevrolet Impala, and you’ll discover you can actually set the duration of how long those lights stay illuminated. You could also turn the function of completely. Durations include 30, 60, and 120 seconds, depending on how long you want to annoy fellow shoppers. The feature is to aid in ingress and egress, adding extra lighting at night, so people don’t trip in the dark. Obviously, GM’s legal team checked into the feature’s legality before implementing it.

Just remember the next time you’re creeping through a parking lot and see the reverse lights of a late-model GM vehicle that the car could be backing up or the owner was simply locking the door as they were walking away. If anything, you’ll probably see the feature every time you go shopping.

Source: Roadshow via YouTube