Did you know that Massachusetts drivers will be subject to a new driving law starting on April 7, 2015? Familiarize yourself with the new law, and its potential consequences, below:
What is the new law?
Beginning on that day, you will need to turn on your car’s headlights any time that you have your windshield wipers on. Here in Massachusetts, the law has always stated that you need to have your headlights on during the night (specifically from 30 minutes after sunset until 30 minutes before sunrise). Now the law also specifies that headlights are required when windshield wipers are needed, including during a sunny afternoon storm.
Here is the exact wording of the new law, with the amended wording in bold font:
Section 15 of chapter 85 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2012 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking out the first sentence and inserting in place thereof the following sentence:— A vehicle, whether stationary or in motion, on a public way, shall have attached to it headlights and taillights which shall be turned on by the vehicle operator and so displayed as to be visible from the front and rear during the period of 1/2 hour after sunset to 1/2 hour before sunrise; provided, however, that such headlights and taillights shall be turned on by the vehicle operator at all other times when, due to insufficient light or unfavorable atmospheric conditions, visibility is reduced such that persons or vehicles on the roadway are not clearly discernible at a distance of 500 feet or when the vehicle’s windshield wipers are needed; provided further, that this section shall not apply to a vehicle which is designed to be propelled by hand; and provided further, that a vehicle carrying hay or straw for the purpose of transporting persons on a hayride shall display only electrically operated lights which shall be 2 flashing amber lights to the front and 2 flashing red lights to the rear, each of which shall be at least 6 inches in diameter and mounted 6 feet from the ground.”
What happens for drivers that fail to comply?
If the weather required that windshield wipers be used but you do not illuminate your headlights, you can be pulled over by a police officer. They can warm you of the new law, or even give you a nominal ticket for the infraction. The more important factor to consider is that this infraction is considered a traffic violation, meaning that it could raise your auto insurance rates the next time that you renew your policy.
Every Massachusetts driver will need to follow this new law starting on April 7, so make sure to pass the news on to your friends and family. One great way to do that is to send them a link to this blog post. Also take the time to tell them about the great experiences that you’ve had with the insurance professionals here at Vargas and Vargas Insurance Agency, and let them know that an auto or home insurance quote is only a phone call away!