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Reminder: If it's snowing, you need to turn your headlights on

Here's what Minnesota law says about lights while driving in poor weather.

The law is really pretty simple, yet you will inevitably see drivers getting it wrong.

If you're behind the wheel and it's snowing, your car's headlights need to be turned on. That's it, end of story. 

So on wintry mornings, make sure to double check that your vehicle's lights are shining before heading out on the road.

What exactly does Minnesota law say?

Headlights (plus lighted tail lamps and, if needed, other illuminating devices) need to be switched on for any vehicle that's on the road during these times:

  • From sunset to sunrise.
  • When it is snowing, raining, sleeting or hailing.
  • When other weather events (weather, smoke, fog, etc.) impair visibility.
  • Or if there isn't enough light to see people or vehicles 500 feet ahead.

In early 2017 the Minnesota Court of Appeals said even very light snow or rain counts. There's no wiggle room in the law for good visibility even if drops or flakes or falling.

Related:

Don't drive like an idiot (and other things to remember when roads are icy)

You can read the full statute here. A ticket for driving without your lights on will run you $115.

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