New driving law goes into effect Tuesday

The fine for violating the new law is $5

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – If you were driving in the rain Tuesday with your windshield wipers on, but not your headlights, you were technically breaking the law.

A new state law known as “Wipers On, Headlights On” went into effect Tuesday, and for the most part, drivers 22News saw in Hampshire County were following it.

The new law requires drivers to turn on their headlights and tail-lights whenever their windshield wipers are on. That includes at night, and during the day. The law is referring to a car’s full headlights, not just its running lights, which aren’t as bright.

Legislators hope it’ll make roads safer during poor weather conditions, but some drivers don’t think it goes far enough.

Bradford Eichwald of Hatfield said, “If that’s going to affect your insurance rates, I think people will start to pay attention, but it’s going to take a while before it makes a difference the way they’re doing it. I wish they just made people keep their lights on all the time.”

Your headlights will also have to stay on from a half-hour after sunset to a half-hour before sunrise, or when visibility is less than 500 feet.

The fine for violating the new law is $5, but drivers who get fined could also face insurance surcharges, which could go on your driving record and increase your insurance rate.

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