Amid the dim-bulb NC bills, a bright spot

May 21, 2013 

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DMITRIY EREMENKOV — Getty Images/iStockphoto

The following editorial, excerpted here, appeared in the Richmond County Daily Journal in Rockingham:

Among all of the unnecessary bills bouncing about in Raleigh, there is a modest bit of proposed legislation we believe makes perfect sense.

From a sister newspaper, The Robesonian, comes word of a state senator looking out for our safety on the roads in North Carolina.

The state Senate last week passed a bill that makes it a crime to install and use vehicle headlights that are not approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation. The bill’s primary sponsor is a senator who represents the counties of Robeson and Columbus.

Sen. Michael Walters told The Robesonian that he introduced the bill after receiving a “tremendous” number of complaints about the blinding effects of bright and off-color headlamps of oncoming vehicles on drivers.

“They asked me if something couldn’t be done,” Walters said.

He 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 requires that any headlamps installed must have ‘Federal DOT’ stamped on them.”

A violation of the bill’s provisions would result in a $100 fine. Wording of the bill includes: “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 Federal Motor Vehicle Standard No. 108 as adopted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.”The bill passed the 50-member Senate 47 to 0 and moves to the House for consideration.

Nice to see a bit of common sense from lawmakers, and consensus, for a change.

It boils down to safety – and not letting one vehicle outshine another to the point of being dangerous.

And with more and more aging baby boomers driving at night – who already struggle with clear vision – we can do without the white-hot blast from blinding oncoming lights making the task of driving after dark even more problematic.

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