Headlights in the rain: Road Rants answers your questions about the laws


Each week in Road Rants, News Channel 8 highlights viewers’ gripes and questions about anything traffic related. A story about why it’s illegal to drive with hazard lights on in the rain got a lot of people talking! Here are some follow-ups to that story.

When it comes to headlights and rain, Dorothy says,

With the recent downpours, I noticed that about 15% of the drivers didn’t have their lights on.  Maybe it isn’t the law anymore, but I was taught that if your wipers were on, you are supposed to have your lights on. 

It is the law in Florida, and drivers may be cited for not using their headlights in rainy conditions.

Bill asked,

Do you know if the State or municipality is required to have signs reminding drivers to have headlights on in rain? I’m trying to find the laws about signage for a volunteer driver from Washington State that was driving for his first time in Panama City. He flew in from Washington and was not aware of the law. He received a ticket for $165 instead of a warning.

The Florida Highway Patrol says that the state isn’t required to post such signage, and out-of-state drivers are expected to know and obey our rules of the road.

Do you have to pay a ticket that you get in another state? Yes, in most cases. Most states, including Florida, are part of the “Non-Resident Violators Compact.” Briefly put, if you get a ticket in another state, it’s reported to the state where your driver’s license was issued. If you don’t pay the fine, your home state can suspend your license, or add on fines, until the ticket is paid.

You can read Florida’s statues regarding the compact at this link.

Only six states haven’t agreed to the compact: Alaska, Oregon, Montana, Michigan, California and Wisconsin.

Some traffic laws vary from state-to-state. AAA compiled some of the most important traffic laws for each state in its “Digest of Motor Laws.” You can see all of them at this link.

Send your Road Rants to Meredyth Censullo here.
You can also contact Meredyth on Facebook.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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