Can I Drive with High Beams On in New York?

Driving is an inherently dangerous activity, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done safely. No one really has a white-knuckle driving experience day after day, though it might be time to consider public transportation instead if they do. Driving is made safer by both features on our vehicles and the laws that direct our use of those features and our driving behaviors.

One of the most important safety features every vehicle has is its exterior lighting. Everything from the headlamps to the turn signals, running lights, and brake lights. Of course, like any part of your vehicle, the bulbs that illuminate these lights won’t last forever. Should this happen to one or both of your low beams, you might decide to use your high beams to illuminate the road and avoid a fix-it ticket.

Unfortunately, this could lead to another ticket.

‘Dazzling Lights’ Laws in New York

Contrary to what some may think, it’s perfectly legal to drive with your high beams on in New York. After all, they exist for a reason: to enhance visibility, illuminating the road ahead for about the length of one city block. This can be especially important on dark highways, where there is less time to avoid road hazards.

That said, there are circumstances where you can get a ticket for “dazzling lights” when your highs are on. Generally speaking, these circumstances are limited to situations where your high beams negatively impact other drivers on the road. Most of us have been blinded by someone’s high beams before, so it should be easy to understand why constantly driving with them on may be hazardous to others.

New York law provides that drivers using their high beams must switch to their low beams when they are within 500 feet of an oncoming driver or within 200 feet of the vehicle in front of them. Failure to do this can result in a traffic stop and a ticket if a law enforcement officer notices the violation.

Penalties for a Dazzling Headlight Violation

Fortunately, the possible penalties for a dazzling headlight violation in New York aren’t as serious as they could be. You won’t incur any points against your driving record, but you can expect a fine of up $150 for each violation. In addition to this fine, a surcharge of $58 or $63 may apply. The law provides the possibility of up to 30 days in jail, but suffering this penalty would be highly unusual.

Did You Get a High Beam Ticket? Contact Us Today!

If you were ticketed for driving with your high beams on in New York, we at Stites Law may be able to help. Our attorney has helped many drivers such as you with their traffic ticket problems. If you believe you were unfairly cited for using your high beams, we can help you investigate and defend your case.

For more information about how we can help, contact Stites Law online now!