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Thread: New California Law re: Headlights and Windshield Wipers

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    SGF Supreme Grumble Framer Rob Markoff's Avatar
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    Default New California Law re: Headlights and Windshield Wipers

    Don't know if this is the proper forum, but I learned something new today.

    Last January a new law went into effect in California that states that if you have to use your windshield wipers continuously, you also have to have your headlights on. I must have missed the memo.

    Of course at night it is a moot point, but now you must have your headlights on during the day if you have to use your wipers.

    Carry on.
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    SPFG Supreme Picture Framer God Framar's Avatar
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    I think that law makes great good sense - it has been the law I believe for a while now in New York State and in Ontario one has to have what are called "daytime running lights" on one's vehicle. It can get pretty darned dark out when it is pouring during the day - and a lot of folks forget to turn on vehicle lights making accidents more likely.

    Did you think this was a good law or a bad law, Rob?

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    PFG Picture Framing God JRB's Avatar
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    In California, the average is just a little over one thousand new laws and regulations go into effect each year. This includes state, local, and federal. It is extremely rare when and old law is removed from the books, perhaps one or two each decade. The laws and regulations governing a person living in California would fill a sixty foot trailer, if they were written in six point type, single spaced.

    One of the strangest ones is "Ignorance of the law, is not a legal excuse." It is strange, at least to me, in that I doubt, no one person could possibly rattle off ten percent of them from memory, no lawyer, no judge, no professor of law, no police officer, I just do not think it could be done.

    This coming January, another thousand or so laws and regulations will go into effect, to keep us safe from ourselves.

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    SGF Supreme Grumble Framer Rob Markoff's Avatar
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    Framar - I'm with you, I think it is a good law. Anything that makes your vehicle more obvious is a good thing and on a gray, wet, day, headlights can do just that.

    I posted this because as JRB pointed out, there are so many new laws that come out it is hard to keep up and I surely was not aware of this one.

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    Banned Paul N's Avatar
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    This law has been in effect for over 14 years now in NY state.

    Yesterday while driving in torrential rain, one could still see (or actually barely see) a few dark cars passing by.

    Maybe those geniuses think they're saving gas this way....

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    PFG Picture Framing God Framerguy's Avatar
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    Yup, same for IL and here in FL as far as headlights and wipers during inclement weather. And you have to have some kind of lights on after sundown in IL even before it gets really too dark to see other vehicles.

    I drive with lights on all the time, it just makes me feel safer somehow.
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    Long time now in NJ, too.
    Pat

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    SGF Supreme Grumble Framer DTWDSM's Avatar
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    Don't know if it is law here or not but my Jeep Commander automatically turns on the lights if the wipers go on.
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    Banned Paul N's Avatar
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    Tim:

    My Jeep (Cherokee) has a setting in the onboard computer that allows one to choose this as an option.

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    Thanks Rob for bringing that to our attention. I will immediately pass it on to my Calif. family and friends.

    Here's the tricky part. States adapt laws such as this one and if one comes to visit from another state - think of the thousands that don't realize they are breaking the law!

    I remember my cousin and I drove to Calif. from Ariz. not long after they put in metered onramps. We had never seen such a thing, nor heard about them. Suddenly, she is getting onto a freeway and there was a blinking yellow light, a white line on the road with a sign full of instructions (no one capable of reading them in the split second given to you) and she says to me with panic, "What am I supposed to do?" All while slowing down to a near stop - rather hastily. Well, be assured, the man driving the white car behind us was most unhappy. We received more gestures from him than one could ever imagine! My point - it almost seems some of these laws should be done on a national basis with informational presentations provided for at least a month BEFORE and AFTER the initiation of that law change.

    Just a thought!
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    That has been the law in New Jersey for many years…………..a friend of mine taught drivers education while he was a teacher on Staten Island.

    I don’t think it is the law in Ireland………but I drive with my headlights on dip beam in all conditions during the day…………it is just safer and I feel I make myself more visible to other drivers….hopefully it will help to keep them out of my way…………

    Sad to say we have one of the highest rates of death per population on the roads in Ireland in comparison to the rest of the world….

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pat Murphey View Post
    Long time now in NJ, too.

    Sorry Pat I did not see your post....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Markoff View Post
    Don't know if this is the proper forum, but I learned something new today.

    Last January a new law went into effect in California that states that if you have to use your windshield wipers continuously, you also have to have your headlights on. I must have missed the memo.

    Of course at night it is a moot point, but now you must have your headlights on during the day if you have to use your wipers.

    Carry on.
    I applied something to my wind shield a few months ago and in a heavy rain going about 35+ MPH i don't need to put on my wipers in bad weather for better view... the rain beads up and rolls right off and fast. Soooooo, i guess i don't have to put my headlights on in bad weather if i don't have to put on the wipers... lol.

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    PFG Picture Framing God Val's Avatar
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    Seems it would be just plain common sense. Don't know if it's a law in Nevada (not an issue here yet, as we rarely get any "downpours" in these parts) but I do know know that if it's raining hard enough for wipers, I turn my lights on. Same with a dust storm. I wonder if there's a law about dust-storms and headlights.....oh, duhhh!)
    Remind me tomorrow to check that one out.
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    It's about learning to dance in the rain.

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    Charter Member jframe's Avatar
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    I use Rain Ex (not sure of that spelling). It is great stuff for sure.

    The wiper/head lights bill didn't pass here in 03. Go figure. Most people I know use their lights all the time anyway, but that's one bill that should have been passed. Of course, being ever suspicious of politicians like I am, I can't help but wonder who benefits from that bill's not passing.
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    Banned Paul N's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jframe View Post
    Of course, being ever suspicious of politicians like I am, I can't help but wonder who benefits from that bill's not passing.
    A politician who owns a chain of funeral homes or a morgue maybe??

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    PFG Picture Framing God Jerry Ervin's Avatar
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    We have had that law for some time now in North Carolina.
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    Florida has had this law for some time...it's smart, if you have ever driven in a Florida monsoon you know you can't see an oncoming car or truck in that kind of weather...but with lights on you have a chance to at least see something coming at you Rain-X helps with light rain and not much in heavy rains.x.

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    SPFG Supreme Picture Framer God Bob Doyle's Avatar
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    OK we have that law here and I think it is a great idea.

    My only problem is that when my wipers are on intermittently do I have to blink my lights?

    I found out a couple of years ago that cars can pass you on a double yellow line. I always thought that the lines in the road carried legal weight. they don't. I have had kids pass me on a double yellow, on a curve, on a rise and the cops tell me it is legal. WTF?! I don't want to die because some immortal teenager with 5 hours of driver ed under his belt, and 100+ hours of "burnout, need for speed" knows more than I do on a rainy back road....... Even if my wipers and lights are on!
    Blockin' out the scenery, breakin' my mind Do this, don't do that, can't you read the sign?.

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    I didn't realize it was a law in Florida.
    Like many other laws it isn't enforced.
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    Where are we going and why am I in this handbasket?

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    most of the enforcers are guilty of not following the laws...maybe interfers with donut time?

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    SPFG Supreme Picture Framer God Bill Henry-'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Framar View Post
    I think that law makes great good sense …one has to have what are called "daytime running lights" on one's vehicle.
    I think it’s a dumb law! It hasn’t passed in New Hampshire … yet.

    Under the proper daylight conditions, cars with running lights cannot be seen!

    During the WWII, the British or Canadians (I cannot remember which) experimented with camouflaging vehicles as large as tanks. They strung light bulbs every twelve or fourteen inches around the tank and by varying the intensity of the lights made them virtually invisible even from fairly close distances.

    Clearly, it wasn’t practical during wartime ‘cause with just one or two lights shot out by bullets, the camouflage was ruined. Besides, finding an extension cord that would reach from Normandy to Berlin was darn near impossible.

    During the day, sometimes I cannot see oncoming vehicles with running lights until they are right on top of me.

    I think running lights are dangerous.

    I do, however, voluntarily turn my lights on at twilight if I am running my windshield wipers.
    Don't take life so serious, son. It ain't nohow permanent!Porky Pine

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Doyle View Post
    I found out a couple of years ago that cars can pass you on a double yellow line. I always thought that the lines in the road carried legal weight. they don't. I have had kids pass me on a double yellow, on a curve, on a rise and the cops tell me it is legal.
    Just to be clear, that kind of law (like the wipers/headlights one) is determined by state. We have just about the same one in Vermont. However, it only states that the double yellow is a suggestion. We do have laws that prohibit passing at an intersection, around corners, on the crest of a hill, etc. Also, I would think that one could be fined or arrested for reckless driving, driving to endanger, or careless and negligent in such circumstances if there was nothing more specific. I pass on the double yellow, but only when I believe it is safe.
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    SPFG Supreme Picture Framer God Bob Doyle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Henry- View Post
    I think it’s a dumb law! It hasn’t passed in New Hampshire … yet.

    Under the proper daylight conditions, cars with running lights cannot be seen!

    Bill route 101 (or is it 33) is the "deadliest" road in NH. They have signs REQUIRING daytime headlight use. As well as little white crosses at all the fatality sights. I don't think the highway commission agrees that headlight use makes a car invisible. Motorcycles are required to use headlights in NH. Helmets are not required but headlights are. If you car has a headlight burned out then you will get pulled over and cited or warned to get it fixed. I have had my share of fix-it tickets.

    Headlight use is for my safety as well as for yours, so please use your headlights, at least on 101! For bikers a helmet won't really help out the other driver but the headlights at least let's the other guy know you are on the road as well.
    Blockin' out the scenery, breakin' my mind Do this, don't do that, can't you read the sign?.

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    passing on double yellow may be allowed in some states..but it is a dumb law...just like here in Florida there are speed limit signs that are yellow backgrounds instead of white like most speed limit signs...I checked and the yellow speed limit signs are for a "suggested" speed and carry no penalty for exceeding them,,,how dumb is that when new young drivers have enough trouble with driving as it is..give them something else to confuse the issue.

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    SPFG Supreme Picture Framer God Dave's Avatar
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    Sometimes common sense should prevail ...unfortunately it's often not so common.

    That's why we have such a proliferation of laws.

    Dave Makielski


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    Banned Paul N's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave View Post
    Sometimes common sense should prevail ...unfortunately it's often not so common.

    That's why we have such a proliferation of laws.

    You read my mind, Dave.

    I was just thinking why not have traffic laws common to every state? why should one state allow drinking and driving (Montana or Minnesota I think)?? In one state you can pass everywhere in others not. It's a recipe for disasters.

    And some laws are really weird, for example: In New Jersey self service at gas station is not allowed!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul N View Post
    I was just thinking why not have traffic laws common to every state?
    And give up the right to autonomous rule?!!!! You have got to be kidding!!!!
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    PFG Picture Framing God Pat Murphey's Avatar
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    Hey Paul, our gas is cheaper here in New Jersey and we don't have to get out of the car in all types of weather just to pump gas. More convenience, more employment, less cost - maybe it's the 48 states that don't have the rule that are screwed up.
    Pat

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    Bill route 101 (or is it 33) is the "deadliest" road in NH. They have signs REQUIRING daytime headlight use. …
    Route 101 is seldom called the “Highway of Death” anymore. Its the only real East-West highway (From Vermont to the SeaCoast) that New Hampshire has, so its probably inevitable that a lot a folks get nailed on it. From Milford to Hampton it is a divided highway, so it is as safe as most four lane, interstate highways.

    From Keene to Milford, it is only two lane with a lot of passing lanes though the mountains. Sure, it may be treacherous, but its a lot of fun to drive especially when you’ve got a lot of logging trucks and want to pass on the curves. It keeps you on your toes.

    I don't think the highway commission agrees that headlight use makes a car invisible
    Don’t care! If it is on the Discovery Channel, it’s got to be true. The NHDOT are a bunch of bozos, anyway.

    .… so please use your headlights
    Nope, I ain’t gonna! … and you can’t make me, either. So there!

    (darn, I can't get these similes to work anymore)
    Don't take life so serious, son. It ain't nohow permanent!Porky Pine

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