New headlight law in effect for Mass drivers

Published: February 11, 2015, 1:24 pm

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – If you need to use your windshield wipers when driving in Massachusetts, your headlights need to be on as well.

Several other states require the use of headlights when windshield wipers are in use.  Other motor vehicles can be hard to distinguish when weather conditions create poor visibility, even during the day.

This addition to the law goes into effect on April 7, as part of a slew of legislationsigned by the outgoing Governor, Deval Patrick.

The law now states:

“Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same as follows:

Section 15 of chapter 85 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2012 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking out the first sentence and inserting in place thereof the following sentence:— 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.” Approved, January 7, 2015.

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