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What Are The Headlight Laws In New York?


A traffic ticket based on improper headlight use may seem like the most pointless infraction imaginable in New York. However, they are possible – and they can lead to serious fines. Whether you are facing these fines or you’re simply trying to avoid them in the future, it makes sense to become aware of the various headlight laws when driving in Rockland County. 

When Am I Legally Required to Turn on My Headlights in New York? 

You are required by law to turn on your headlights whenever it gets dark out. However, drivers should technically turn on their headlights 30 minutes before the sun sets. If you are driving in the morning, you need to turn on your headlights 30 minutes before the sun rises. This suggests that the presence of daylight isn’t always an accurate indication of when you should be turning on your headlights.

In addition, you are legally required to turn on your headlights in certain conditions – even in the middle of the day. For example, you must turn on your headlights if you are using your windscreen wipers. The implication here is that headlights must be used in rainy conditions. New York law also states that you should use your headlights in foggy or snowy conditions. Finally, you must use headlights when visibility is less than 1,000 feet. 

When Am I Allowed to Use High Beams in New York? 

While other states only allow continuous use of high beams in rural locations, New York allows high beams in all areas – but with a few important restrictions. You cannot use high beams within 500 feet of an oncoming vehicle. If you are following another vehicle, you cannot use them within 200 feet. Note that it is very rare for police officers to spot drivers committing these infractions.

What Are the Penalties Associated with Headlight Violations in New York? 

If you drive in the aforementioned conditions without turning on your headlights in New York, you could face a fine of up to $150. Note that this ticket may also have a surcharge of up to $63. Technically speaking, you could also face up to 30 days in jail for this traffic violation – although such sentences are virtually unheard of. In some cases, police will let you off with a warning if you fail to turn on your headlights in the right conditions. This type of offense will not result in any additional points on your driving record.

If you fail to dim your high beams, you could also face penalties under New York law. Along with a traffic fine, you could also have two points added to your driving record.

Find a Qualified Traffic Ticket Defense Lawyer in Rockland County 

If you have been searching for a qualified, experienced New City traffic violation lawyer, look no further than Phillip J. Murphy, Attorney at Law. Over the years, we have helped numerous motorists keep their driving licenses and avoid excessive tickets. Book your consultation today to determine the most appropriate course of legal action.




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Phillip J. Murphy,
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Free Consultations Calls Answered and returned 24/7 Phone: (845) 639-6600 Fax: (845) 639-6620

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Phillip J. Murphy, Attorney At Law is located in New City, New York and serves clients in and around New York, New Jersey & Connecticut. Contact our experienced criminal defense law firm.
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