Understanding your state's headlight laws

December 04, 2018 - 3:30 am

By Amy E. Feldman, Judge Technology Solutions

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Authorities in China have devised a way to punish rude drivers. 

In addition to giving out fines, authorities in Shenzhen, China have devised an ingenious way to punish drivers who fail to turn off their high beams for oncoming traffic: forcing the rude drivers to sit in front of a vehicle with its high beams on for 60 seconds.  

Turnabout is fair play — and also may cause permanent eye damage, who knows. You could probably find out on the medical report.

This being the legal report, you'll learn that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration just proposed a regulation that will allow car headlights to have adaptive technology, so they'll automatically dim as conditions require. 

Until that becomes a reality, headlight laws will continue to vary by state, but virtually all require you to have two working headlights that must be turned on when it's dark, and in some states, also when it's raining. 

In most states, you can turn on your high beams to improve visibility, but you have to turn them off when you are within 500 yards of approaching traffic, though the penalty won't involve any form of high beam revenge, China-style. 

You can go to yourmechanic.com and search "headlight laws" to see laws for all 50 states. For the laws on courtesy, ask your mother.