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It's raining, headlights should be on!!

Original post made by Grace, Highland Oaks, on Feb 16, 2009

Maybe some folks don't remember that as of July 1, 2007, it's the law that whenever the weather is inclement enough to require the windshield wipers to be on, you MUST have your headlights on. Driving around Pleasanton this weekend, it appears that at least half of the cars on the road did not have their headlights on, even when their windshield wipers were working away like mad.

Not sure if it's people forgetting the law or whether they're just thinking that it applies to everyone else but them?

It's just common sense, too -- especially light-colored cars which are very hard to see when there's any kick-up spray on the road.

Please take the extra second to turn on the headlights when it's bad weather ... and at dusk as well. It helps keep everyone safe, including your loved ones.

Comments (9)

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Posted by unclehomerr..
a resident of Downtown
on Feb 16, 2009 at 11:00 am


Grace.. stop and think a minute.

When they're holding their cellphone with their left hand; entering an address into their GPS with their right hand; steering with their left knee and driving with their right foot.... what're they gonna turn the lights on WITH???? I don't want to think about it!

unclehomerr..


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Posted by mike
a resident of Del Prado
on Feb 16, 2009 at 11:03 am

For clarification, you are only required to have your headlights on during darkness (1/2 hour after and before sunset). Additionally, you have to have your headlights on only when you have your windshield are in continuous operation. So it your wipers on on intermittent you are not in violation of the law. However, it is safer for you to have your headlights on at all times even during daylight.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 16, 2009 at 4:20 pm

From the California Vehicle Code: Web Link

24400. (a) A motor vehicle, other than a motorcycle, shall be:

(2) Operated during darkness, or inclement weather, or both, with at least two lighted headlamps that comply with paragraph (1).

(b) As used in paragraph (2) of subdivision (a), "inclement weather" is a weather condition that is either of the following:

(1) A condition that prevents a driver of a motor vehicle from clearly discerning a person or another motor vehicle on the highway from a distance of 1,000 feet.

(2) A condition requiring the windshield wipers to be in continuous use due to rain, mist, snow, fog, or other precipitation or atmospheric moisture.


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Posted by frank
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Feb 16, 2009 at 4:48 pm

How people can rationalize anything and everything!!! And they do!

"(2) A condition requiring the windshield wipers to be in continuous use due to rain, mist, snow, fog, or other precipitation or atmospheric moisture."

Where in the above does it say something about if the driver so chooses to put the wipers in "intermittent" operation that headlights are not needed? Where does it define "continue use" to not include "intermittent operation"?

Where does it say that the driver gets to decide when the weather meets the above definition in the event a police officer differs?


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Posted by Grace
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Feb 16, 2009 at 5:02 pm

Thanks Frank. I'd like to think that people look out for each other and are not simply looking to split hairs to justify risky habits when driving. The "intermittent" setting on my wipers can go as fast as the low continuous setting. Also, I can't imagine waiting until 1/2 hour after sunset to put my headlights on, if that's what mike meant. Once the sun goes down behind the Foothill range, it's dark enough to warrant lights.


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Posted by mike
a resident of Del Prado
on Feb 16, 2009 at 9:01 pm

It's the law. I arrested a guy for DUI when I believed it was dark enough for driver's to have their lights on. It went to court and the judge ruled against me because I pulled the guy over 20 minutes after the sun had set according the the Almanac. Additionally, the CVC section specifically states that the wipers must be in continuous operation. If the California Legislature outlaws intermittent wipers you have a gripe.


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Posted by Joyce
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 18, 2009 at 9:01 am

Hey I'm from out of state (as are so very many) and didn't know this, although I am from out east and we do put our headlights on.

While we're at it, can someone explain to me why Californians almost NEVER use turn signals? I actually asked someone if it was the law because it was so bad the first month or so I was here? Or do Californians assume that everyone is psychic?

To me this is even more dangerous than driving without headlights on the 5 days it rains in CA every year. Turn signals are every for day and should be used frequently when driving. Perhaps someone could post the code for that bit of law to remind everyone!


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Posted by RecklessDriver
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 23, 2009 at 8:51 pm

In California we don't use turn signals because they give other drivers an edge in the battle of the road. If they aren't quite certain what you are going to do, you are better able to cut in front of them with only inches to spare. If you signal first before changing lanes on the freeway, it gives the other drivers the opportunity to pull up three feet from the bumper of the car in front of them and keep you from getting in front of them.

We just returned from a trip down I-5 and I can attest that this rule is followed by most of us reckless drivers. CHP may ticket a few of us, but mostly I saw them catch the guys in old Honda Civics, Chevys, and the like that let their speed creap up and weren't smart enough to get a radar detector.

See you in the ditch!


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 23, 2009 at 8:59 pm

Exactly! If you use your signal the other driver suddenly gets territorial and steps on the gas in order to prevent you from safely merging. We don't have courteous drivers here!

Or how about those drivers in the lane next to you who speed up and try not to let you pass if you suddenly show up near their blind spot?


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