Headlight use requirement falters in Kentucky Senate

| 4/23/2007

A bill that was intended to aid truckers in Kentucky during times of poor visibility fell just short of gaining passage in the statehouse.

Kentucky law requires drivers to flip on their headlights during conditions that make visibility low or lower than normal. Drivers also are required to have their headlights on from one-half hour past sunset to one-half hour before sunrise.

The bill – HB89 – would have required all vehicles in the state to have their headlights on during periods of fog, smoke or precipitation. Truckers and other drivers would have had to use their lights “during periods when rain, mist, snow or other precipitation necessitates the use of windshield wipers.”

Sponsored by Rep. Ted “Teddy” Edmonds, D-Jackson, the bill remained in the Senate Appropriations and Revenue Committee when the session ended, effectively killing it for the year. The House previously approved it by unanimous consent.

Edmonds said the bill would be the most benefit for truckers.

“This bill is really for the truckers. They asked me to pass this because when cars pass them on the right sides the spray from their vehicle makes it nearly impossible to see them during rain,” Edmonds told the Daily News in Bowling Green, KY, before the bill died.

Edmonds said the bill would help truckers much more than drivers in passenger vehicles “but it could save the life of the passenger vehicle driver or the passengers in their car. This bill is simply for road safety.”

The effort can be brought back for consideration during the 2008 regular session.