Ask Trooper Steve: When should you have your headlights on?

Trooper Steve Montiero answers viewer questions

ORLANDO, Fla. – News 6 traffic safety expert Trooper Steve Montiero answers viewer questions and shares tips about the rules of the road, helping Central Florida residents become better drivers by being better educated.

Trooper Steve was asked, “What are the proper times in which headlights on your vehicle should be on?”

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“Whether it’s pouring down rain in the middle of the day or it could even be in the middle of the night with perfect weather conditions, you’ll find someone out there driving not using their headlights,” he said. “Someone reading the initial lines of this might be like, “Wow, Steve that was a little dramatic, wasn’t it?” To some it might be but to most, it’s ridiculous that someone is so distracted or complacent while driving that they cannot tell that there is no illumination in the front of their vehicle while driving.”

He said by law, your headlights should be activated on your vehicle during and out-of-the-normal weather, including an hour after the sun comes up and one hour before the sun goes down, where visibility is not at its prime.

“’Oh, but Trooper Steve I don’t need to worry about this. I have automatic lights on my vehicle.’ This is the number one pie in your face comment I get when talking about this. Not all automatic lights work as they should or even when they should,” he said.

He wants everyone to remember it is still the driver’s or operator’s responsibility to have control of their vehicle and the mechanisms that go with it.

“Relying solely on your vehicle to activate its lights for you could ultimately result in that not happening like it should. To eliminate the possibility where your automatic lights do not activate either fully or just partially, simply manually turn them on yourself,” Trooper Steve said.

About the Authors:

Steven Montiero, better known as “Trooper Steve," joined the News 6 morning team as its Traffic Safety Expert in October 2017. A Central Florida native and decorated combat veteran, Montiero comes to the station following an eight-year assignment with the Florida Highway Patrol.

Brenda Argueta is a digital journalist who joined in March 2021. She graduated from UCF and returned to Central Florida after working in Colorado.