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  1. #1
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    Wipers on/lights on and work zones

    Let me first say that I'm not asking this on my behalf so to speak. Ever since I've been driving I always turn both my headlights and fog lights on when approaching a work zone and ever since I went down to TN in 05 and heard that some states require that if your wipers are on, your lights need to be on, I've done both headlights and fog lights in those situations as well.

    Well, in PA we just enacted that if your wipers are on, your lights need to be on. No problem for me as it's practically second nature because of how long I've been doing it. But a lot of people I know say things like "oh I don't have to worry about that because my lights come on automatically when I start my car" and I always tell them "Yes, your DRLs come on, but a)they're not as bright as your standard headlights and b)they don't turn your taillights on...you need to manually turn the switch"

    I'm almost positive (please correct me if I'm wrong) that in a work zone DRLs don't qualify as "lights on" and is therefore ticketable. I would imagine that the same thing would apply for the "wipers on lights on" law, but I'm not sure.

    In my opinion, it's common sense that if you're in a work zone or weather conditions are less than ideal you turn your lights on because especially in inclement weather, DRLs will do nothing to increase your rear visibility. Nonetheless my friends always say they'll be fine and crap even though I've told them repeatedly that the DRLs don't count. I figured if I could get a LEO's take on the matter, they might actually listen to me. This way, if what I've been telling them is correct and I can verify such, if they still don't listen to me and get pulled over and receive a fine they can't blame me for not telling them.

  2. #2
    Retired Sergeant - CHP SgtCHP's Avatar
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    California Law

    Headlamps on Motor Vehicles

    24400. (a) A motor vehicle, other than a motorcycle, shall be:
    (1) ( )1 Equipped with at least two ( )2 headlamps, with at least one on each side of the front of the vehicle, and, except as to vehicles registered prior to January 1, 1930, they shall be located directly above or in advance of the front axle of the vehicle. The headlamps and every light source in any headlamp unit shall be located at a height of not more than 54 inches nor less than 22 inches.

    (2) Operated during darkness, or inclement weather, or both, with at least two lighted headlamps that comply with paragraph (1).

    (b) As used in paragraph (2) of subdivision (a), “inclement weather” is a weather condition that is either of the following:

    (1) A condition that prevents a driver of a motor vehicle from clearly discerning a person or another motor vehicle on the highway from a distance of 1,000 feet.

    (2) A condition requiring the windshield wipers to be in continuous use due to rain, mist, snow, fog, or other precipitation or atmospheric moisture.( )3

    Added Sec. 2, Ch. 415, Stats. 2004. Effectve January 1, 2005. Operative July 1, 2005.
    Amended Sec. 9, Ch. 311, Stats. 2006. Effective January 1, 2007.
    The 2006 amendment added the italicized material, and at the point(s) indicated, deleted the following:

    “During darkness and inclement weather, a motor vehicle, other than a motorcycle, shall be equipped”
    “lighted”
    “(c) This section shall become operative on July 1, 2005.

    Pennsylvania Law

    Recent Changes to Pennsylvania Law Require Use of Headlights During Windshield Wiper Use
    The new year brings new requirements for drivers traveling on Pennsylvania roadways. The Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Code was recently amended to provide that, beginning January 2007, drivers will be required to display lighted head lamps, tail lamps, and running lights on their vehicle at any time when the vehicle’s windshield wipers are in continuous or intermittent use due to precipitation or atmospheric moisture, including rain, snow, sleet or mist. This requirement is in addition to the requirement that drivers display their lighted lamps between sunset and sunrise, as well as any time when they cannot discern a person or vehicle upon the highway from a distance of 1,000 feet due to insufficient light or unfavorable atmospheric conditions. Remind your drivers that Pennsylvania law now requires that the headlights be turned on with the windshield wipers when the wipers are on due to the weather.

    Because it is the winter season, now is also a good time to remind your drivers to always clear their windows. Pennsylvania law prohibits driving with any ice or snow on the front windshield or side or rear windows which materially obstructs, obscures or impairs the driver's clear view of the highway.
    Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence!

    [George Washington (1732 - 1799)]


  3. #3
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    I wouldn't ticket someone who had their DRLs on. The whole point in those situations is visibility from other's point of view, not ensuring that the driver can see better. If the DRLs accomplish that, why ticket?

    Between this and the brake thread, all I can do is shake my head.

  4. #4
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    Like I said though, I wasn't asking for me, I was asking because my a lot of my friends still don't turn their lights on with the new law. I had been telling them that DRLs don't count, but the more I had to keep telling them I began to wonder what exactly the law was.

    And I didn't think you'd get pulled over for simply only using your DRLs, I was thinking more along the lines that in most cases, the only way you would get ticketed for not using your DRLs only is if you were driving like an absolute idiot and got pulled over for that, then got a ticket because you also didn't have your full lighting on. I can only imagine the time that would be wasted if an officer tried to pull over every single person who was only using DRLs.

    Basically all I wanted to know was if I was telling my friends the right thing. I have that question answered now. Thank you.
    Note: Unless I specifically say something to the effect of I'm trying to get out of a ticket or whatever, please, don't think I'm trying to "point the finger" to make myself look innocent. Usually, I'm just trying to find things out ahead of time.



    Only an absolute idiot will do a smoky burnout directly in front of a large, clearly marked, brand new white Ford Expedition police vehicle during daylight. That being said, I graduated with absolute idiots.

  5. #5
    Forum Member Taylor1430's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ofc129
    I wouldn't ticket someone who had their DRLs on. The whole point in those situations is visibility from other's point of view, not ensuring that the driver can see better. If the DRLs accomplish that, why ticket?

    Between this and the brake thread, all I can do is shake my head.
    Something to consider with that is visibility from the rear. If visibility is poor, wouldn't it be wise to have some lighting in the rear (although tailights are not that bright) to increase your visibility to the vehicles behind you?

  6. #6
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    Rear visibility isn't a concern in work zones. In inclement weather, if it's bad enough, then yes rear lights should be on as well (and therefore headlights to achieve such). Still wouldn't bother with writing a ticket.

  7. #7
    Forum Member Taylor1430's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ofc129
    Rear visibility isn't a concern in work zones. In inclement weather, if it's bad enough, then yes rear lights should be on as well (and therefore headlights to achieve such). Still wouldn't bother with writing a ticket.
    Yeah...not a ticket I write either. I just think those laws are intended to have front/rear lights on because its for visibility (others seeing you) so I think the OP is correct and his friends are not.

  8. #8
    living the dream
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    *Old post*
    Last edited by sinned; 09-12-2008 at 06:14 AM.

  9. #9
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    It is required that you turn your lights on, if you (not you your friend)have not done that than you are in violation of the law its that simple
    In God we trust all others we run through NCIC

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