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Turn on headlights when wipers are on, or else

Published: Mon, July 27, 2009 @ 9:00 a.m.

COLUMBUS — You won’t get a ticket for six months, but it’s probably a good idea to start turning your headlights on now when driving in the rain.

That’s because, as of July 1, a new state law took effect requiring the use of headlights whenever drivers use their windshield wipers.

For more on this story, see Tuesday’s Vindicator or vindy.com


1woolyd(579 comments)posted 6 years, 12 months ago

got that right PRO. its just like click it or ticket.

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2dbinnc(51 comments)posted 6 years, 12 months ago

I live in North Carolina and this has been the law ever since I've known. It's not a bad law, it's designed to protect people not to generate revenue. It's like any law, follow it and there's no issue. Click it or Ticket is a good law, I want my kids to get used to using a seat belt, how is that bad?

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3rmzrez(134 comments)posted 6 years, 12 months ago

Good comment hope
They just take all the fun out of everything

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4ytownoptimist(86 comments)posted 6 years, 12 months ago

Hope - I remember this law in my driver's education class as well back in the 80's. I'm glad it is being enforced because bad rain storms can completely inhibit visibility (sometimes worse than snow storms). This year's sheet-like rain storms are perfect examples of the importance of headlights. A law, on the books, to protect our safety shouldn't be ridiculed.

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5AKAFR1(322 comments)posted 6 years, 12 months ago

Here is an idea..design a car that automatically turns the headlights on when the wipers are switched on.

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6aeparish(669 comments)posted 6 years, 12 months ago

How is this designed to help protect people?

The only thing I can gather from this is that it helps crack down on people who don't use their lights during a down pour of rain, decreasing their visibility to other drivers on the road.

Okay, fine. But, wouldn't it make even more sense to just give tickets to these morons regardless of whether or not it's raining? They'd even make more money, too. I see TONS of people driving in the rain without their lights on, but I see even more people driving at dusk and even after sunset with their lights off.

Making sense, yes, no?

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7ytown9999(55 comments)posted 6 years, 12 months ago

AKAFR1 - I think some do, but it will never be a law that they have to.

Why is it that all the so called safety concerned legislators never enforce safety laws on the manufacturers?

Installing seat belts is the only required safety featured that they must comply with.

Air bags have been proven to save lives, anti-lock brakes have been proven to save lives, yet they are still "optional" equipment.

As far as this law, I don't see what the hype is about. It's been the law in other states for years.

Of course since we still have a billion dollar budget crisis, this will give them an excuse to spend another few million or so buying and installing "Wipers on? Turn your headlights on, IT'S THE LAW" signs everywhere.

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8Stan(9923 comments)posted 6 years, 12 months ago

No need for wipers ! Stick your head out the window and blinking your eyes will do the trick.

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9ts1227(137 comments)posted 6 years, 12 months ago

They only have to put these common sense things into law because we're too stupid to figure it out ourselves. Obviously it's easier to see cars in the rain (especially when heavy) if their lights are on!

3/4 of the US has had this law for 25 years any, Ohio is just being drug into the 21st kicking and screaming on another issue.

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10cambridge(4130 comments)posted 6 years, 12 months ago

This law is on the books in California. The obvious idea is to make other vehicles on the road more visible in the rain. Just like the seat belt law it's purpose is safety.

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11THEVOICE(22 comments)posted 6 years, 12 months ago

I think it is a good idea but people should be warned not ticketed. If they are truly trying to protect people they would warn instead of jumping into their pockets. Besides, those scumbag highway patrolmen have nothing better to do with themselves, worthless every last one of them!

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12henryviii1509(274 comments)posted 6 years, 12 months ago

Another intrusive act from "The Man".

Beat this law by using a good coat of Rain-X and turning your lights off during rainstorms.


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13ElPolloLoco(30 comments)posted 6 years, 12 months ago

I understand the safety of it! Drunk driving during the rain will be more "safe" HAHA! I am not going to lie...... if they are looking for a policeman who partols during the "rainy season" then I will be the first to fill out an application 70+ a year! DAMN, just for watching people from a running car on the side of the road! "There is a freaking drop of rain........ time for Super troopers to start bust'n some ars"!!!!!!!

The Crazy Chicken

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14THEVOICE(22 comments)posted 6 years, 12 months ago

I have seen the light and it is red and blue! Pulling me over because my delay wipers were too slow for him and now he needs to rape my pockets! "Oh and your license has a crack in it, heres another ticket and you have to go pay for a replacement license, oh and I am conveniently going to forget the box that says you had proof of financial responsibity which means you have to jump through hoops to prove to the world that you had insurance at the time I stopped you, good luck with that in court!" Go solve a crime you worthless pieces of dung!

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15cambridge(4130 comments)posted 6 years, 12 months ago

As a life long motorcycle rider I can assure you I like the fact that my headlight comes on the same time my engine does. I rode in the days when motorcycles didn't have that feature and I feel much safer now that they do. Even driving a car, usually the fist that I notice someone else on a motorcycle is by the headlight.

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16cambridge(4130 comments)posted 6 years, 12 months ago

Search4Answers....I hope now you can see why I was screwing with this guy the last couple of days. It was my hope that if I said back to someone the kind of things they say a light might come on and they might actually add a fact or coherent comment and stop with the rants and name calling.

I think I'll just have to be satisfied with knowing that he wakes up angry, spends his day angry and goes to bed angry. Knowing this guy spends his miserable life dwelling on the most negative of voices is his head actually makes me smile.

Hope....Thanks for the sentiment but that would be going back in more ways than one.

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17joebag09(354 comments)posted 6 years, 12 months ago

I feel sooooo warm and snuggly now that "big brother" is looking out for me again. I don't what I would have done to live past 50 without them!

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18Mimi2BC(147 comments)posted 6 years, 12 months ago

I remember our driver's ed class back in 1987... we were taught back then to have our lights on in the rain and at dusk.... I have always done this. What's the big deal? It is just one more measure of safety for all drivers on the road...

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19Lifes2Short(3882 comments)posted 6 years, 12 months ago

Whats the big deal! Just turn on your headlights, it isn't that hard, that difficult and is it really hurting you just sitting in your car and God forbid if you have to turn a little knob. What is all the bitc#$ing for? Geez, everyone acts like it's such a big deal. More in likely your not going to get pulled over for it, unless you have another traffic violation. Quit your complaining and just turn on your lights. Everyone really needs to get a life and quit worrying about the minor issues.

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20steelerman09(111 comments)posted 6 years, 12 months ago

What is this world coming to???

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21aeparish(669 comments)posted 6 years, 12 months ago

It's not that it's a big deal -- it's just that it's stupid. Yeah, you should have your head lights on when it's raining. That should be common sense. The fact that they have to initiate a law to remind us of it is just insulting.

Besides -- like I alluded to earlier ... if they're going to pull people over for not having their headlights on in the rain, then they need to do it when people don't have their headlights on at dusk as well.

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22renaldo(5 comments)posted 6 years, 12 months ago


i wholeheartedly agree with you. one would think it not necessary to pass a law compelling one to do what common sense said they should. but then after reading some of these comments, common sense seems to be lacking.

oh, one more thing. driving is not a right. it is a privlege granted by law. seems some people are selective in the laws they like.

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23Lifes2Short(3882 comments)posted 6 years, 12 months ago

Oh I agree, it shouldn't be put into law... just like wearing your seatbelt - should be a choice. But on the other hand, It is what it is.... you could not do it and get a ticket or you could just do it and not worry.. What could Ohio citizens do about it? Nothing....and it's not that big of a deal to sit at your computer and cry about it.....Life on Life's Terms....

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24andersonathan(687 comments)posted 6 years, 12 months ago

Good law and about time Ohio catches on.

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2589must(21 comments)posted 6 years, 11 months ago

for all of you that think this law is stupid when was the last time you saw a cop pull someone over when it was raining they dont want to get wet. the state is only doing this because the click it or ticket law is not pulling in enough money any more. plus if you get in an accident in the rain automatic ticket and when they say lights on they mean more than your daytime running lights

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26redvert(2239 comments)posted 6 years, 11 months ago

Adding to the earlier comments on motorcycle headlights, I have seen a few motorcycle headlights that seem to "pulse." I do not know if this is a aftermarket setup or factory. I wish that all new bikes had this feature. It sure makes them stand out at night, especially where there is a lot of traffic and it is hard to distinguish what you are looking at and judge distance.

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27justmy2cents(3 comments)posted 6 years, 11 months ago

I thought it interesting that, both in the online article and in the fourty-odd comments (though I didn't read the print version), there are no statistics regarding the effectiveness of using headlights during rain.

According to a report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration regarding crash-reducing effectiveness of daytime running lights: (http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/people/ncsa/...)

They say that important to reducing crashes is to increase visual contrast in low contrast conditions; for example, clouds/low levels of light during dusk/dawn and in rain. (Note that in other conditions drivers are more likely to use headlights than in rainy conditions.)

Of the ten studies they reviewed, from seven countries over a period 23 years, the studies found anywhere from 5.3% to 38% reduction in crashes, depending on they type of study (in some it was a law, in others just a fleet of vehicles equipped) and the type of crash (head on, pedestrian, etc.).

Obviously these studies don't specifically target headlights' impact on rain-only crashes, but I can see why there is benefit, both to our safety (and to potential tax payer savings).

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28JeffLebowski(953 comments)posted 6 years, 11 months ago

Wait...properly cited factual information on the Vindy website? You, sir/madam, have clearly come to the wrong place for news and information. My compliments, seriously.

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29psr88(2 comments)posted 6 years, 11 months ago


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30justmy2cents(3 comments)posted 6 years, 11 months ago

JeffLebowski: well, I'm new to town, so I'll try to be more hot-headed next time :)

Madam Justmy2cents

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31joebag09(354 comments)posted 6 years, 11 months ago

89must...just wait....the "click it or ticket" is about to become more then a catch phrase. They (not sure who) are attempting to get a law passed so police officers will be able to pull you over and site you if you aren't wearing your seat belt. As the law is now, there has to be another infraction to pull you over.

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32XBROWNSX(35 comments)posted 6 years, 11 months ago

My... some people are lazy. Raining? Turn on headlights - WOW. Some want cars to drive for us while we sit there like a zombie.

People who drive at dawn dusk without headlights, in fog, in storms should be removed from the road. You are obviously too dumb to operate a motor vehicle.

However, it's those SAME wonderlicks driving next to you on the freeway, in the rain, lights off and with for bald tires, two front tires riding on steel cords. Metal-to-metal brakes. Horrific grinding sound at every stop attempt, Happens all the time. It's those people who complain about common sense safety laws.

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33JUST1OPINION(10 comments)posted 6 years, 11 months ago

Wow I guess I had way too much faith in the people of this area. If the government has to pass a law to make you idiots turn your headlights on in the rain, maybe this town is full of idiots that just deserve to play bumper cars on 680 every time it rains. Whats next will they have to pass a law to make sure the simpletons of the this area drive with out blind folds or would that be "big government" infringing on your right to prove natural selection correct. Sometimes I hate to admit that I am from here......

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34dbinnc(51 comments)posted 6 years, 11 months ago

Get ready for the next new law,
the "no texting while driving" law.

Will all the idiots who complained about this law complain about that one too??

I can see complaining now ..."..it's my right to text while I drive..".."the government is taking away my freedom..".."..it's just another way to make money..." ..."...it's all Obamas I can't text while driving.."

Put your lights on when it's raining!!!!!
Teach your children and grandchildren to put thier lights on when it's raining!!!!!!!!

Do you want to be sitting in the hospital one day saying what if............

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35dbinnc(51 comments)posted 6 years, 11 months ago

I ment to say " it's all Obamas fault"


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36cjj2(7 comments)posted 6 years, 11 months ago

re: 1)turning on headlights while it's raining and 2)no texting while driving... these are 'no brainers'. we need to get back to defensive driving (IE looking out for the other guy) instead of inviting accidents (long range: rising healthcare, deaths caused by reckless behavior, disabilities, people suing others, rising insurance costs...).
these laws are not just aimed at 1 person. haven't you heard the saying, 'one bad apple spoils the whole bunch?'.
and besides, aren't there more important things to complain about?

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37dbinnc(51 comments)posted 6 years, 11 months ago

Thank you Cjj2

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38metrodawg(70 comments)posted 6 years, 11 months ago

The more comments I read, the more i realize how lucky I am to have ESCAPED the Mahoning Valley! Must be something in the water.

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39dbinnc(51 comments)posted 6 years, 11 months ago

metrodawg, so true.

I like to tell people that I was "paroled" out of the valley

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40joebag09(354 comments)posted 6 years, 11 months ago

If this area is so bad why do bother you reading the vindicator/vindy.com?

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41dbinnc(51 comments)posted 6 years, 11 months ago

Because I still have hope that the area will turn itself around. It's not just about more jobs, it's about changing YOUR attitude. I've lived in 4 different states since I left and have to say the Valley has the worst attitude. Don't worry, I tell people the truth about the Youngstown area, that it's not a bad place to live or even raise a family. And that's the truth, however that's in the suburbs of the suburbs. Except the weather, that will always suck.

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42joebag09(354 comments)posted 6 years, 11 months ago

Yeah, you sound real hopeful....paroled! This area will not turn itself around...people...like myself and others that stay and continue to work here will effect a change...hopefully. MY attitude about this area has always been good. I like this area. I like the people. My attitude, as far as this article goes, I don't need the government telling me/enacting laws on how to protect myself. I know to turn on my headlights (learned that in drivers ed.) I believe it's my choice to put on a seatbelt. If these things aren't addressed now, in the not to distant future government will be telling when to drive, what tv stations aren't harmful, etc. This may sound extreme, it's meant to, but where do we draw the line and how long do we wait?

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43cjj2(7 comments)posted 6 years, 11 months ago

if people weren't so oblivious, have blinders on, think they're above the law or even just plain ole stupid...and the government didn't feel it needed to intervene to prevent 'stupidness' from affecting the other guy, then there wouldn't be a need to enact these laws that we all learned in drivers ed.

if a person can't see the car on the road that doesn't have his lights on (whether rain, snow, dusk or fog), then they should presume that the other driver can't see him/her if your lights are not on, either.

and, if your texting while driving (this does exist), then i hope i don't encounter you on the road--stay out of my neighborhood.

i agree about personal choice to wear a seatbelt.

i also feel that everyone should somhow be able totake a drivers tes,t periodically, to keep getting a license.

some people have forgotten rules of the road, common courtesy, and how to drive sensibly.

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