Headlights required in inclement weather

Duane Weyand - Wilmington Police Chief

Under Ohio law, operators of a motor vehicle are required to use their headlights when their windshield wipers are activated. While this is not a new law, it is one worth reminding. The law was changed in 2009 that made this a requirement.

Far too often we receive complaints because operators of motor vehicles are not adhering to this law. While it is a safety issue and one that merits a law, we can’t stop vehicles for this violation by itself. Under Ohio law this is considered a secondary offense. Much like seatbelts, we cannot stop a vehicle for violating this law unless we have a primary offense like speeding or running a stop sign.

Daytime running lights and vehicles where lights come on automatically fulfill this obligation. The goal of the law is to increase overall traffic safety. Headlights draw more attention to cars, whether at an intersection or for oncoming cars. Anytime you draw attention to a vehicle in inclement weather, whether it is rain or snow, it increases safety for everyone.

So as a courtesy, be mindful of the law and do your part to help increase highway safety.

Duane Weyand is Wilmington Chief of Police.


Duane Weyand

Wilmington Police Chief