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Can you use your high-beam lights if your low beams aren't working?

Trooper Steve answers viewer questions

ORLANDO, Fla. – News 6 traffic safety expert Trooper Steve Montiero answers viewer questions about the rules of the road every week, helping Orlando-area residents become better drivers by being better educated.

Trisha, of Dr. Phillips, asked if it was OK to use high-beam lights when her low beams aren't working.

[ASK TROOPER STEVE: Submit your traffic questions here] 

"This one falls under the common statement you may have heard from your parents: 'Two wrongs do not make a right,'" Montiero said. "As I do understand why someone would think this might be OK, you have to think about what you’re actually doing when you are using your high-beam lights."

Trooper Steve said high-beam lights are much brighter than normal low-beam lights, so using them as a supplement because your low beam lights are not working probably creates a bigger issue my possible making it difficult for other drivers to see.

Florida Statute 316.238 covers the rules of using high-beam lights.

"When approaching an oncoming vehicle and you’re within 500 feet of that car, a driver is not to use their high-beam lights," Montiero said. "When approaching another vehicle from the rear, a driver is not to use their high-beam lights within 300 feet." 

Montiero said as soon as a driver notices something isn't right with their vehicle, they should immediately address the issue.

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"Anytime you notice your car has some type of defect, the longer you go without fixing it, the bigger the issue can get," he said.

A “fix it” ticket is less than $100, according to Montiero, and a moving violation ticket for driving with your high beams on can cost you more than $160 and points on your driver's license. 

If you have a traffic question for Trooper Steve, submit it here.


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