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  • Writer's pictureTom Fowler

Is it Illegal to Drive with One Headlight?

Updated: Feb 23, 2022

It is still possible to see and drive a vehicle even if one headlight is burned out, just like driving with one eye. However, driving with a broken headlight where there’s only one functioning headlight on a car is not advisable to be used. In fact, it is illegal to drive with one headlight only.

So, even though drivers feel capable of driving or maneuver a vehicle on public roads using a broken headlight, they also need to remember that it is still dangerous, especially when driving at night. The police could pull them over if they are caught driving with one headlight or another type of violation.

Perhaps some of you are wondering what will happen if you are pulled over. Then, what will happen next? Do you have any idea how you can avoid being pulled over? Well, in this article, you will be enlightened about the possible consequences of driving a car with broken headlights. By reading the subsequent discussions, you will learn important tips and considerations for avoiding points on your license and securing safety levels while encountering unexpected obstacles.

Pulled over with broken headlight

Getting Pulled Over Because of Only One Headlight

In most states in America, the fundamental law requires every vehicle to have and utilize headlights at night until sunrise. However, other states in America have more specific policies and regulations that require headlights to be used thirty minutes after sunset and thirty minutes before dawn. In some states, it is a law that other motor vehicles, excluding motorcycles, should contain two headlights that function properly. That’s why drivers can be pulled over only if there’s only one headlight, if there’s a faulty headlight on their car, or if they are driving with the parking lights on instead of the headlights.

What Will Happen if a Police Officer Pulls You Over?

Suppose drivers get pulled over from driving with one headlight or defective headlights and are unaware of this. In that case, the police may give them instructions on how to fix such violations. Once they quickly fix it, they might still be fined or charged around ten dollars and pay for this penalty to the court. Along with the payment, they should provide or show proof of correction for the vehicle’s lights.

On the other hand, if the driver knows they have a defective headlight and still choose to drive over an extended period and does not even bother to fix it, then they may receive notice from the authority for correction but will be requested to appear in front of the court for further investigation. The court may demand the driver to pay a greater fine for the violation.

Being Pulled Over Because of Only One Headlight — How to Avoid It?

One of the best means of getting pulled over while driving is always to check if there’s a faulty headlight on the car. Always make sure that the headlight bulbs are functioning correctly. Let a mechanic or expert service provider inspect and fix the headlights if there are lights that need to be fixed. Then, ask for a work order once the mechanic is already working on this job.

On top of that, never drive a car once there is quite a confusion on the state car accident laws. If you ever find it hard to understand, then it would be better to seek a piece of legal advice from professional lawyers. Lawyers have a vast knowledge of the different state personal injury laws related to driving matters. Never hop behind the wheel if your car had a headlight burned. It is because you can get a ticket for not having properly functioning headlights or even because of some other traffic offenses.

Can You Drive with Only One Functioning Headlight?

Driving with one headlight would be possible, but it is still illegal since the driver may get into a car accident which may also cause a serious collision, affecting other drivers and people. So, as per the consensus and rule of the states, driving with only one working headlight is prohibited.

Indeed, you cannot drive a car with one headlight in different places like South Wales, South Australia, Western Australia, Australian Capital territory, and other places in Northern Territory. These places have strict laws claiming that driving a specific type of motor vehicle, excluding motorcycles, with one headlight is a serious offense.

Therefore, two headlights are a must-have, and these light bulbs are correctly working. There should be both high beams and low beams to improve safety while driving on public highways.

Possible Consequences of Driving a Car with a Broken Headlight

If individuals drive vehicles with a broken headlight, then some possible negative consequences might happen. Some of these things that they may experience and may unexpectedly occur are the following:

• Car accident at night

If drivers had a new bulb for their vehicles and it functions well at night, there would be no car accidents. Contradictory, if their cars don't have headlights, an accident and serious collision may happen. In a worst-case scenario, this accident may lead to death and severe damages to property. Headlight significantly reduces the chances of having unexpected accidents on public highways, especially at night.

If a driver drives other cars with proper working headlights, there's nothing to worry about for the oncoming traffic. They may see what's going on ahead of the car since there is a well-lit light coming from the bulb of the vehicles. The driver can also see other drivers who maneuver cars and other lit-up vehicles on public roads. Because of these headlights, any possible problems and impediments can be avoided.

• Violations of the state law

Since most places state-wide prohibit single headlights in cars, everyone should abide by this policy. If people drive with one headlight at night, an apprehending officer will indeed issue a ticket for their violation.

Although some law enforcement officers may give considerations by giving simple notice concerning the violation, they may still be charged with serious charges and a penalty or fine once the violation became repetitive. These individuals will also receive some demerit points, which will appear on their driving records.

Avoiding violations when driving

Essential Tips to Avoid Violation and Penalty Fine when Driving

While driving a specific type of vehicle on public roads, it is necessary to adhere to its rules and regulations. This is one of the best ways to avoid violation and penalty fines when driving a car.

Some essential tips and considerations which everyone should consider may include the following:

1. Check the headlights and even the brake light before driving a car

The vehicle lights must be checked before going out for respective destinations. This is an effective way to avoid possible violations of state laws and regulations. Thus, avoiding any penalty or fine that could be associated with any driving violations. A person may request a work order from their most trusted service provider to fix a specific problem on their vehicle whenever something needs to be fixed.

2. Be sure to bring a valid driver's license when driving

Aside from the vehicle’s headlights, bringing a valid driver's license when driving is also necessary. This will serve as proof of identity if accidents or crimes occur. If there's a checkpoint, then a checkpoint officer will request to present the driver's license plus the registration and insurance of the vehicle. After that, those officers may also check the lights on the vehicle. Working headlights is something that would also save you from possible charges when driving.

Even though a person has a valid driver's license, there could be a reason for getting pulled over because of the flawed headlights and some violations on the automobile equipment. The officers may issue a ticket if there are some driving violations.

3. Ways to follow the traffic rules and regulations anywhere

Following the traffic rules and regulations in any place would permanently save anyone from possible charges, penalty fines, accidents, and even imprisonment. These are typically the basic rules that are easy to understand by most people. Although this is understandable, some people still don't follow the traffic rules, even in their locality.

That's why they might encounter collisions and accidents with other vehicles on the road. Suppose this simple suggestion is not followed correctly. In that case, there will always be a problem that anyone may encounter on public highways.

These are the things and recommendations that people should consider if they want to make a responsible change in how they drive. Driving responsibly means checking everything before hitting the road. This would guarantee that they will be safe while heading to their destination.

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