Headlight bill passes California Legislature

| 8/17/2004

A bill that would require all vehicles in California to use their headlights during bad weather has been approved by the state’s General Assembly.

Existing California law requires all vehicles to be equipped with headlights and to use them in darkness, with the exception of motorcycles. The bill, AB1854, introduced by Assemblyman Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, would also require use during inclement weather, which the bill defines as “a weather condition rendering a driver's visibility from a motor vehicle insufficient to clearly discern a person or another motor vehicle on the highway at a distance of 1,000 feet.”

The bill was suggested by retired high school teacher Mary Lou Lyon of Cupertino, CA, who won a prize from Simitian’s office for the idea. Simitian organizes a yearly contest in which citizens suggest bills that should be passed by the Assembly.

The bill passed the Assembly 63-16 in May, and was approved by the Senate Aug. 16 by a vote of 23-8.

It has now been passed back to the Assembly for enrollment, after which it will head to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for his signature.