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Legislation Concerning Motor Vehicle Headlights Passes the Ohio House

COLUMBUS—The Ohio House of Representatives today passed legislation that requires motor vehicle headlight color to comply with federal headlamp color requirements. Senate Bill 161 was sponsored by Senator Jim Hughes (R-Clintonville) and was passed unanimously by House Transportation, Public Safety, and Homeland Security Committee, chaired by Representative Rex Damschroder (R-Fremont).

Senate Bill 161 seeks to update law to clarify that motor vehicle headlights need to comply with federal regulations regarding color. The bill came to fruition after local law enforcement agencies reached out to the legislature about colored headlights ranging from bright blue to pink. While the Ohio Administrative Code already requires white headlights, the requirement is not present in law, making it difficult for any police citations written for colored headlights to be valid.

During testimony on the bill in committee, important interested parties like the Fraternal Order of Police and Specialty Equipment Market Association spoke in support of the legislation. Both organizations discussed the dangers of vehicles having certain headlight colors, which might confuse drivers by creating the appearance of a public safety vehicle. Examples like flashing lights or blue or red lights were offered as confusing or dangerous to drivers.

Under this legislation, drivers in violation of this requirement would be charged with a misdemeanor.

Senate Bill 161 will now go to the Governor’s desk to be signed into law.