I Forgot to Turn on My Headlights in Georgia: Is This Really Illegal?

Lights are some of the most important safety equipment on a typical vehicle. Without lights, it is difficult for drivers to see each other in low-light conditions. But can you really face a traffic citation if you simply forget to switch on your headlights? This is a question that many Georgia residents ask, and the answer may be more complex than they realize. 

Georgia’s Headlight Laws Summarized

According to Georgia law, you must have two functioning headlights if you plan to drive at night. However, Georgia also requires you to turn on your headlights 30 minutes after sunset and 30 minutes before sunrise. This means that even if it is still light out, you might be required to turn on your headlights. 

Headlights are Not Just for Night Driving

It is important to remember that headlights may be legally required in many situations – and not just when it is dark out. Georgia law states that you must use your headlights whenever visibility is less than 500 feet. You might face a traffic ticket if you fail to put on your headlights in foggy conditions, for example – even in the middle of the day. The same logic applies to rain, and most Georgia drivers are completely unaware that they are legally required to activate their headlights whenever it begins to rain. 

One recent article points out that many drivers make the mistake of activating their “automatic lights” in the rain. However, this often fails to activate the rear lights, and this constitutes a traffic infraction. If police officers spot you driving without proper lights in the rain, they may pull you over and issue you a citation. A good rule of thumb is to switch on your headlights whenever your windscreen wipers are in “continuous use.” 

When Can I Use High Beams?

In Georgia, you can only use high beams in rural areas. Whenever traffic approaches within 500 feet, you must turn off your high beams. If you are following another vehicle, you must turn off or dim your high beams when you get within 200 feet. Although it might seem counter-intuitive, high beams should not be used in fog. In addition, you should avoid high beams in rain, snow, or smoke. If you cannot see at least 200 feet into the distance, you should not be using high beams. 

Find a Traffic Ticket Defense Attorney in Georgia

If you are facing a traffic ticket in Georgia, you should get in touch with Lankford & Moore Law before paying it. With our assistance, you can review the circumstances of your ticket and potentially avoid paying it. This may be especially helpful if you run the risk of losing a license due to too many points. Perhaps you have a commercial driver’s license (CDL), and you need your license to earn a living. Whatever the case may be, fighting your ticket is possible – whether you forgot to put on your headlights, sped in a school zone, or committed any other offense. Book your consultation today to get started with an effective action plan. 


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Lankford & Moore Law in Downtown Lawrenceville

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