Ask a Trooper: Drivers should turn lights on for safetyE-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. Read past columns at duluthnewstribune.com.
Q: I get so frustrated at the ignorance of people who do not turn on their lights in foggy weather. Usually I blink my lights to inform them they are being dangerous by not having their lights on. After a few attempts I just give up. I don’t know if they think having their lights on will drain their battery or shorten the life of the lights. I always drive with my lights on and haven’t had to change my light bulbs in the eight years I have owned my car. If you get their license number can you report them and could they get a warning? Thank you for listening to my complaint.
A: I drive with my headlights on at all times. I preach this to other drivers on radio shows, in articles and in public speaking programs. It is amazing to see how many people don’t drive with their lights on when required. When headlights are required, so are all the other vehicle lights. Drivers need to override their automatic headlights, if they can, by turning on the light switch every time they get in the vehicle. Then, they don’t have to try to remember all the times that headlights are required.
We need the headlights on to be safe and to be seen, not just to see better. As far as reporting them, there is not much an officer can do if they did not observe the violation. During a recent hard rain, I was driving in my personal vehicle off-duty and was parked at a store near a highway. About three out of 10 vehicles did not have their lights on! It is an important issue, and I thank you for bringing it up.
Sgt. Curt S. Mowers is a regional public information officer for the Minnesota State Patrol.