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Introduced by Representatives Clarkson of Woodstock, Chen of Mendon, Grad of Moretown, Courcelle of Rutland City, Emmons of Springfield, Head of S. Burlington, Jewett of Ripton, Keenan of St. Albans City, Marek of Newfane, Martin of Springfield, Masland of Thetford, Minter of Waterbury, Pellett of Chester, Potter of Clarendon, Shand of Weathersfield and Sharpe of Bristol

Referred to Committee on


Subject:  Motor vehicles; headlights; wipers

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to require that whenever a motor vehicle is operated on a highway and the windshield wipers are in use, the headlights shall be illuminated.


It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1.  23 V.S.A. § 1243(a) and (b) are amended to read:

(a)  A motor vehicle, except a motorcycle and mo-ped moped, in use or at rest on a highway, unless otherwise provided, during the period from 30 minutes after sunset to 30 minutes before sunrise, shall also be equipped with at least two lighted head lamps headlights of substantially the same intensity and with reflectors and lenses of a design approved by the commissioner of motor vehicles, and with a lighted tail or rear lamp of a design so approved.  A motorcycle or mo-ped moped may be operated during the period mentioned if equipped with at least one lighted head lamp headlight and at least one lighted tail or rear lamp light, both of a design approved by the commissioner of motor vehicles.  A side car attached to such motorcycle or mo-ped moped shall be equipped with a light on the right side of such side car visible from the front thereof.  A person shall not operate a motor vehicle during the period mentioned unless it is equipped as defined in this section.

(b)  Every vehicle upon a highway within this state, at any time from thirty 30 minutes after sunset to thirty 30 minutes before sunrise and at any other time when, due to insufficient light or unfavorable atmospheric conditions, persons or vehicles on the highway are not clearly discernible at a distance of five hundred 500 feet ahead, shall display lighted lamps headlights and illuminating devices as respectively required for different classes of vehicles, subject to exceptions with respect to parked vehicles.  Additionally, whenever a motor vehicle is operated upon a highway, and the windshield wipers are in use as a result of rain, sleet, snow, hail, fog, or other unfavorable atmospheric condition, the headlights and taillights shall be illuminated.

Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont