Blue tinted headlights cause problems at night
If you drive the highways, streets, and roads of Virginia at night you may have noticed that some drivers now have headlights that are blue. Blue headlights benefit the driver because they illuminate more of the scenary than traditional lights. Unfortunately, they are not a bonus for other drivers as they can cause a glare. Sometimes when a vehicle comes toward me with blue headlights it takes me a few moments after they pass to focus again. Studies concur that these tinted lights can cause momentary blindness.
Headlights that have blue tint can come from the manufacturer on certain high-end vehicles or owners can have their car lights tinted. A 2007 study revealed that drivers have expressed feeling uncomfortable when seeing blue headlights coming their way. A separate study by the Department of Transportation (DoT) found that 88% of drivers have said they don't like driving toward blue headlights and believe the glare from blue headlights has led to a rise in nighttime accidents.
Virginia lawmakers are addressing the problem of blue headlights
Some drivers young and old are already dealing with night blindness and don't need any extra issues while driving after dark. It would be great to have a way to enhance nighttime vision but not at the expense of other drivers' safety. Virginia residents have been questioning whether headlights that are tinted blue are a safety hazard and want them banned and now the issue is being addressed. A bill from Senator Lionell Spruill (D-Chesapeake) would ban drivers from making “aftermarket modifications” that give them blue headlights.
The bill does contain "an exception for headlights pre-installed by the manufacturer and approved by the DMV". If this bill makes it into law, Virginia drivers would no longer be allowed to utilize two popular forms of vehicle modification. They would not be able to purchase blue LED bulbs from online retailers or install blue-tinted films to alter their headlights, The proposal to ban blue headlights won "nearly unanimously, with just one Republican senator voting in opposition". The proposal must still pass through the House of Delegates so Virginians must continue to let their voices be heard on this issue.
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