Ask a trooper: Rules for headlightsE-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or mail your question to Duluth News Tribune, Attn: Ask the State Trooper, 424 W. First St., Duluth, MN 55802. You may remain anonymous if you choose.
Q: Why do some drivers get by with driving around with burned-out headlights and other non-working lights? If you drive any night of the week you will see at least 20 vehicles with only one headlight and see another 20 that refuse to use their dims, and I bet if they did use their dims they would only have one working headlight, so by either standard, they create a hazard on the road.
A: We can’t catch everyone all the time. Spring and fall are the times when headlights tend to go out more often because of temperature changes.
Q: Have the laws changed on having working headlights?
A: Not in the past 30 years or more. I tell everyone to drive with their headlights on all the time, then they don’t have to worry about when they are required by law and they will be a lot safer.
Q: Have the laws changed on dimming headlights? I always thought it was 200 feet for following and 500 feet for meeting.
A: The law is 200 feet for following but it is 1,000 feet when meeting, not 500 feet, for dimming your lights.
Q: Some of today’s vehicles have those “blue-white” lights, and when they don’t dim their lights you feel like you just had an X-ray taken as they pierce right through you. Can’t something be done about these?
A: Those lights, if from the factory, are legal. Some after-market ones are not legal.
Sgt. Curt S. Mowers is a regional public information officer for the Minnesota State Patrol.