HB174....Headlights on all day on 2-lane highways
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Posted by Don Birkholz (+1151) 3 years ago
HB174 would require headlights to be on all day on 2-lane highways, except when driving thru towns. http://leg.mt.gov/bills/2...HB0174.htm

I did a quick check of the headlight laws in other states and could not find any that required the headlights to be on all day. One legislator at the hearing today for this bill wondered that if a rancher had a vehicle he used during the day to feed cattle across the highway that had no working headlights, would he have to have the vehicle towed into town to get the headlights fixed? Ans: That would be up to the discretion of the patrolman.

My questions are: The law requires the dimming of headlights when another vehicle approaches. Does this apply to daylight use?

Are there going to be signs posted all over stating this new law? What is that going to cost this financially-strapped state?

Does this apply to out-of-state drivers from the other 50 states that don't have this law?

Plus this is going to wear out headlights, requiring additional expense and one does not know for awhile that one headlight went out.
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Posted by MilesCity.com Webmaster (+9804) 3 years ago
Reply to Don Birkholz (#370229)
I don't know the answer to your questions, but in general I would say requiring headlights on, especially on "particular" two lane highways would be a good idea.

I know when I'm driving, I always turn my headlights on - no matter where or when (unless I'm off-road). It's a good safely measure.

However, Montana has a strong independent streak of "don't tell me what to do", so without knowing anything else, I assume this measure will fail.
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Posted by MilesCity.com Webmaster (+9804) 3 years ago
Reply to Don Birkholz (#370229)
I think I got this condensed version correct, anyway:

Section 1. Section 61-9-201, MCA, is amended to read:

61-9-201. When lighted lamps are required.

(1) A vehicle on a highway within this state shall display lighted lamps and illuminating devices as required by this part at any time:

    (a) from one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise;

    (b) the vehicle is traveling on a two-lane highway outside the boundaries of a municipality; and

    (c) insufficient light or unfavorable atmospheric conditions, including but not limited to rain, sleet, hail, snow, or fog, cause a person or vehicle on the highway to not be clearly discernible at a distance of 500 feet.

(2) Parked vehicles are subject to the requirements of 61-9-214.

But why is the "and" in there? Seems like it should be "or".
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Posted by gypsykim (+1563) 3 years ago
As someone who spends my working days traveling eastern Montana highways, it would be extremely beneficial for all drivers to have their headlights on. I run with mine on all the time. I can think of no legitimate reason not to enact this law.
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Posted by Don Birkholz (+1151) 3 years ago
I think the "and" refers to each instance headlights are required. Headlights are required (1)from dusk to dawn, (2)and they are required on 2-lane roads, and (3) they are required in fog, and (4) the are required if the vehicle is parked on the highway. (If you are out of gas and have to turn the lights on, by the time you get back, you will need your battery charged.) But that is how I interpret it. Others may have a legitimate argument as to what "and" means.


If the law were to say "headlights are required from dusk to dawn and in fog," yes, you could argue that you need the two requirements to be simultaneous, and you could also argue that you need headlights if either is happening.
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Posted by David Schott (+14981) 3 years ago
"You can't legislate intelligence and common sense into people." - Will Rogers
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Posted by schmitzdj (+196) 3 years ago
I don't remember when it started but almost all cars built in recent years have day time running lites that are automatic.
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Posted by Don Birkholz (+1151) 3 years ago
Some questions: How much is this law going to cost in new headlights since headlights (or bulbs) will have to be replaced more often? In the last 15 years I have had to replace one headlight (which I did myself), and one bulb, which I had to make two trips to the mechanic to get fixed you (can't touch the bulb with your fingers.) My battery on one of my pickups has also went dead because the cab lights failed to go off when they were supposed to. Is there going to be more of this?

If safety is a concern on the highways, why not require safety helmets? Why do people wear a helmet in a motor vehicle on their way to stage an accident and commit insurance fraud? Safety reasons.

The highways will now not be as safe since police stops to enforce this law and the subsequent slowing down to pass a highway patrolman increase the probability of an accident, especially if the stop is on top of a hill with two yellow lines on the middle.
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Posted by Bridgier (+8352) 3 years ago
oh ffs.
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Posted by AFAB (+53) 3 years ago
CJ
I have owned quite a few new vehicles in the last 5 years and none of them came with daytime running lights that were automatic. I run mine on all the time but I am disappointed that you can like posts an not be informed in your position?
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