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New Massachusetts Law – Headlights On When Wipers are in Use

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April 9, 2015 by Minuteman Trucks

Headlights

A new Massachusetts law requires drivers to turn on their headlights when their windshield wipers are in use and during times of low visibility during the day. The new law, passed by the legislature in December, means if you need your wipers you need your headlights on, even if it’s sunny outside.

The law that takes effect April 7, and is meant to increase safety on the state’s roads by making vehicles more visible.

You can and will get pulled over for not complying with the new law. Violation is subject to a $5 fine and is considered a surchargeable traffic violation, which can increase insurance premiums.

Here’s how the new law reads:

A vehicle, whether stationary or in motion, on a public way, shall have attached to it headlights and taillights which shall be turned on by the vehicle operator and so displayed as to be visible from the front and rear during the period of 1/2 hour after sunset to 1/2 hour before sunrise; provided, however, that such headlights and taillights shall be turned on by the vehicle operator at all other times when, due to insufficient light or unfavorable atmospheric conditions, visibility is reduced such that persons or vehicles on the roadway are not clearly discernible at a distance of 500 feet or when the vehicle’s windshield wipers are needed; provided further, that this section shall not apply to a vehicle which is designed to be propelled by hand; and provided further, that a vehicle carrying hay or straw for the purpose of transporting persons on a hayride shall display only electrically operated lights which shall be 2 flashing amber lights to the front and 2 flashing red lights to the rear, each of which shall be at least 6 inches in diameter and mounted 6 feet from the ground.

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