Area motorists need to see the lights

On Dec. 1, 2006, the Pennsylvania General Assembly enacted the headlight wiper law, section 4302 of the Pennsylvania code. It went into effect Jan. 29, 2007. The intention of the law is to make vehicles more visible to one another in inclement weather.

The headlight wiper law states that a driver must turn on his headlights whenever he is using his windshield wipers continuously or at intervals in response to rain, snow, sleet, fog, mist or other weather condition. The law is considered a primary offense, meaning a driver may be pulled over and cited solely for not following the regulation. A ticket for violating the headlight wiper law in Pennsylvania is $25. However, with fees and other costs associated with the violation, the total owed can approach $100.

The weather in Northeastern Pennsylvania earlier this week was rainy. Therefore, when driving in these conditions, make sure you activate your vehicle’s headlights at the same time you activate your vehicle’s windshield wipers. You’ll certainly be safer for such action. In addition, you can avoid being cited by the police for violating the Commonwealth’s vehicle headlight wiper law.

It has always been this way as far as I knew and I have been driving for more than 40 years. On Wednesday, June 9, a storm came through Warren County that I had the pleasure to drive through. I was coming from Sheffield to Warren and it took me almost 45 full minutes.

Torrential rain and much flooding along the sides of the roads. There were too many people without their headlights on!

Inclement weather to me is if the sun is not shining and the sky is not blue. I cannot see you in snow and rain if you do not have your lights on and especially if you are in a black or white vehicle. It is the law.

However, today laws just do not seem to be enforced. If you believe that your lights are on because they automatically come on you might want to make sure. Safety is important to many people but not all, obviously. Again, I was actually taught in drivers ed class that it was the law to have your lights on in inclement weather. It is actually common sense.

Laurie Crossley is a Warren resident.


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