GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – According to a new law, if you have your windshield wipers on and you cannot see more than 500 feet in front of you, and then you must also have your headlights on. 500 feet is almost two football fields.
Former Governor Deval Patrick signed the bill into law in early January. The wording about the windshield wipers is an amendment to the existing law, which only said you needed to turn on headlights if you couldn’t see more than 500 feet.
No one 22News spoke with knew about the law change, but one driver said she understood that its goal is safety. Linda Dagilus of South Deerfield said, “I think if it’s in the interest of the safety of other drivers, I think it’s reasonable, but as long as people know about it.”
The bill also states that you need to have your headlights on from half an hour after sunset, to half an hour before sunrise, dusk to dawn.
Governor Patrick signed into law Bill H3092 on January 7, 2015:
Every vehicle, whether stationary or in motion, on any 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 one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour after 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 THE VEHICLE’S WINDSHIELD WIPERS ARE NEEDED; provided further, that this section shall not apply to any vehicle which is designed to be propelled by hand; and provided, further, that any vehicle carrying hay or straw for the purpose of transporting persons on a hayride, so called, 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 said lights to be at least 6 inches in diameter and mounted 6 feet from the ground.