New Law Requires Headlights in Bad Weather - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

New Law Requires Headlights in Bad Weather

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By Alex Schuman

aschuman@myabc5.com

@alexschuman

There are lots of things to remember when you're in winter driving mode, but one of the most important is to turn on your headlights.

bill making its way through the Statehouse would make that safety measure law.

Iowa's Senate Transportation Committee voted 7 to 4 in favor of a law requiring drivers to turn on their headlights if weather conditions force them to turn on their windshield wipers.

Senator Daryl Beall, who co-sponsors the bill, said it's about promoting common sense.

"I think the weather gets heavy here in Iowa and from my experience living in New Jersey, where they do have to use both, it was helpful," said Quashelle Christie, a Clive resident used to the law.

States like Florida, New Jersey and Pennsylvania already enforce these laws. 

"You're driving in adverse weather conditions whether it's rain or snow," said Sgt. Scott Bright, Iowa State Patrol.  "And you're gonna be more visible out there and by being more visible, hopefully we can prevent some of the collisions we see out there on interstates and highways."

Police would be able to pull you over for choosing not to turn on your lights.

If it's raining, snowing, foggy or you cannot see anything within a thousand feet of your car, you must turn them on.

"I do it already because it just makes a lot sense," said Christie.

Four senators claimed the bill is a solution in search of problem and voted against the bill.  The legislation moves forward to be voted on by the whole Senate, but it's not clear when they will vote. 

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