Police: Ban brings ‘uniformity on our highways’

By ALLEN LAMAN
alaman@dcherald.com

Drivers sporting colorful lights on your vehicles beware: A new law disallowing non-traditional headlight hues goes into effect next week, and those caught violating it will have to fork over some green.

Effective Sunday, Indiana drivers are required to have white or amber headlights. Per the law — which was signed during the latest legislative session in March — rear signal lights on all vehicles are also required to be a shade between red and amber, backup lights will need to be white or amber, all brake lights must be red and license plate lights must be white.

Todd Ringle, the Indiana State Police public information officer for the Evansville District, said the move will bring consistency to the state’s roads.

“The bottom line is that we need uniformity on our highways,” he said. “Many states have had laws like this for quite some time. Unfortunately, when we made the law years and years ago, we never dreamed that people or businesses would be manufacturing colored lights to be added to vehicles.”

Ringle said the law is directed at the increasing number of aftermarket, decorative lights being installed on vehicles. They are installed as marker lights, turn signals, headlights, taillights, halo lights around headlights and so on. And after Sunday, they won’t be allowed unless they meet the specific requirements mentioned above.

Police aren’t seeing “massive numbers” of the lights, Ringle said, but they are seeing them more and more frequently.

“All these lights do is create confusion to the majority of the motoring public,” Ringle said.

He said that some drivers might confuse cars sporting colorful lights with emergency vehicles, causing them to pull off the road unnecessarily, which could then place them in potentially dangerous situations.

Those who violate the law will be cited with a traffic infraction equivalent to a speeding ticket, Ringle said. He also said some LED lights have a blue tint and those are still OK to use on roadways. The new law does not apply to emergency vehicles and volunteer fire department vehicles.

“We know that there’s a lot of people out there that love their cars,” Ringle said. “They like to put money in their car. They show their car off at car shows and so forth. And those individuals can still utilize those decorative lights during those car shows. They just can’t use those lights when they’re driving up and down a public highway.”




More on DuboisCountyHerald.com