When Headlights Are Required


It's that time of year when the darkness of evening begins to set in earlier and rainy/foggy or snowy conditions can decrease driver's visibility of other vehicles. This makes an excellent opportunity to discuss Missouri's law, which requires a vehicles headlights to be on when the windshield wipers are in use or when visibility is decreased due to fog or other weather conditions.

On August 28, 2004 a law went into effect dealing with with the use of headlights at specific times, which motorists need to be reminded of during this time of year.

The definition in RSMo 307.020 dealing with when headlights are required was amended and new requirements were added to read:  “When lighted lamps are required” means at any time from a half-hour after sunset to a half-hour before sunrise and at any other time when there is not sufficient light to render clearly discernible persons and vehicles on the highway at a distance of five hundred feet ahead.  Lighted lamps shall also be required any time the weather conditions require usage of the motor vehicle’s windshield wipers to operate the vehicle in a careful and prudent manner as defined in section 304.012, RSMo.   The provisions of this section shall be interpreted to require lighted lamps during periods of fog even if usage of the windshield wipers is not necessary to operate the vehicle in a careful and prudent manner.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol reminds all motorists it is always better to be seen then to be in a traffic crash.  Laws such as this have been enacted to promote safety on the highways for the motoring public.  The Patrol also reminds motorists it is always a good idea to slow down when these same weather conditions exist, and to always wear your seat belt and to make sure your passengers are either buckled in or in an approved child restraint seat when riding in a vehicle at all times.  Click It 4 Life.