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Always-on headlight law proposed

December 12, 2009

Always-on headlight law proposed

By KURT ERICKSON, JG/T-C Springfield Bureau

SPRINGFIELD — A state lawmaker has introduced legislation requiring Illinois motorists to turn on their headlights even during daylight hours.

Although state Rep. Dan Brady said he’s not ready to start pushing the measure through the General Assembly, the Bloomington Republican said the idea is to make it easier for motorists to see each other, thus reducing accidents.

“It would enhance safety,” Brady said.

It also would put Illinois alone in the U.S.

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Although day-time running lights are required in some European countries, the only other state where it is even being considered is Alaska.

In Juneau, state lawmakers say long twilight periods and low sun angles there produce shadows and make it difficult to see vehicles.

Alaska Department of Transportation officials testifying before a Senate panel last March said using headlights during the daytime could reduce multiple vehicle crashes. The measure is still pending in the Legislature.

In Illinois, headlights are required at night and only required during daylight hours when there is rain or snow falling. Motorcycles are already required to have a headlamp on at all times.

Illinois State Police spokesman Scott Compton said there’s nothing stopping people from keeping their headlights on during the day.

“The more visible one can make their vehicle, the safer it would seem to be,” Compton said.

If the law is approved, someone caught for not turning on their lights could face a fine of $75.

Brady said he wants to study the issue more before he asks his colleagues to vote on the matter.

“It’s not going to be an immediate priority of mine,” Brady said.

The legislation is House Bill 4701.

Contact Kurt Erickson at or 217-789-0865.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. K. LOVDJIEFF permalink
    December 14, 2009 4:05 pm

    U.S. Adults are being questioned on their common sense more everyday. I do not need to be told when it is vital that my headlights be on. I do not need one more expense to my budget. I am not against safety but this is thinking for people who are supposedly old enough and responsible enough to be driving. If someone does not know when headlghts are warranted they do not have enough sense to be issued a license.

    PS… Boy that felt good – Thanks!


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