RALEIGH — Thinking about installing headlamps on your vehicle that are brighter than standard, or shoot an off-color beam? Maybe you better think again.
The state Senate on Thursday passed a bill that makes it a crime to install and use headlamps that are not approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation. The bill’s primary sponsor is a senator who represents Robeson County who said the legislation is about safety.
“No person shall operate a motor vehicle that is equipped with any headlamps that change the original design or performance of the headlamps, and do not comply with with Federal Motor Vehicle Standard No. 108 as adopted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration,” the bill reads.
The bill passed the 50-member Senate by a vote of 47 to 0. It now moves to the House for consideration.
Sen.Michael Walters, a Democrat representing Robeson and Columbus counties, is the primary sponsor of the bill. He told The Robesonian on Thursday that he introduced the bill after receiving a “tremendous” number of complaints about the blinding effects of bright and off-color headlamps on drivers of oncoming vehicles.
“They asked me if something couldn’t be done,” Walters said.
Walters said he and other officials have worked with the automobile industry during the current legislative session to come up with a solution to the problem.
“The automobile industry is satisfied with this bill,” Walters said. “… It (bill) requires that any headlamps installed must have ‘Federal DOT’ stamped on them.”
According to Walters, any violation of the bill’s provisions would result in a $100 fine.