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How do drivers get away with blinding headlights and grill lights that resemble police blue lights?

Cecil Hester
StarNews

How do N.C. drivers get away with headlights and grill lights that resemble police blue lights? How do N.C. drivers get away with running the new headlights that are blinding to approaching vehicles? Why are these vehicles not stopped and cited for improper equipment?

A. Under N.C. General Statute 20‑130.1, it is unlawful for any individual to have a blue light in the state of North Carolina, although there are notable exceptions when it comes to this rule. For instance, a publicly owned vehicle used for law enforcement purposes has full authority to use blue lights for their official duties. There are other loopholes with regards to blue lights.

This section has no weight with regards to an inoperable blue light on a vehicle that is inspected thoroughly and registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles, as a specially constructed vehicle for the purposes of regional events: which include shows, exhibitions, parades or holiday weekend activities. Inoperable blue light means a blue-colored lamp or simply a mechanism that does not have the ability to produce illumination.

Otherwise, if any individual is not licensed either as a law enforcement agent or as an employee in a specially constructed vehicle this is a citable offense, which includes being arrested for operating with a blue light.

Under General Statute 20 131, headlights are required to be bright enough to render discernible someone 200 feet ahead, but motorists are required to dim their lights so they won’t “project a glaring or dazzling light” to someone 500 feet away. Also, the brightest portion of the light cannot rise above the horizontal plain of the headlight or be above 42 inches high at 75 feet down the road. If this criteria for low beams is violated then the lights are illegal.

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User-contributed question by:
Tony Phillips

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