Enjoy Driving at Night Without Headlights? You’re in Luck!

by Kerry Dougherty

Oh my. This really is special.

Virginia’s General Assembly – in the midst of an expensive special session with no end in sight – just passed a bill that, if signed by the governor, will forbid police officers from stopping a car that is being driven at night without headlights, tail lights or brake lights.

This is what happens when Michael Bloomberg bankrolls extreme left-wing candidates in your state and these blockheads will vote for any measure that’s aimed at crippling the police.

You’re not hearing much about this deeply flawed bill because the slobbering lapdogs in the media are overjoyed that it also prevents the cops from stopping cars due solely to the aroma of marijuana. A milestone for the Old Dominion.

But pot is only one part of the bill.

 HB 5058 was introduced by Del. Patrick Hope, an Arlington Democrat. An identical bill was introduced in the Senate by none other than Sen. Louise Lucas, of Portsmouth. If you click the link, be sure to go beyond the summary, which does not mention headlights. Go to the PDF version of the bill where all the delicious wrinkles reside.

Oh, I’ll save you the trouble. This is the law as it currently exists:

§ 46.2-1030. When lights to be lighted; number of lights to be lighted at any time; use of warning lights.

  1. Every vehicle in operation on a highway in the Commonwealth shall display lighted headlights and illuminating devices as required by this article (i) from sunset to sunrise; (ii) during any other time when, because of rain, smoke, fog, snow, sleet, insufficient light, or other unfavorable atmospheric conditions, visibility is reduced to a degree whereby persons or vehicles on the highway are not clearly discernible at a distance of 500 feet; and (iii) whenever windshield wipers are in use as a result of fog, rain, sleet, or snow. The provisions of this subsection, however, shall not apply to instances when windshield wipers are used intermittently in misting rain, sleet, or snow.

This is what’s been added by the Mensa members in Richmond:

No law-enforcement officer shall stop a motor vehicle for a violation of this section. No evidence discovered or obtained as the result of a stop in violation of this subsection, including evidence discovered or obtained with the operator’s consent, shall be admissible in any trial, hearing, or other proceeding.

According to several news reports, Hope was unaware that his bill made it legal to zip around in the dark without headlights. Hey, don’t blame him. Who has time to read bills before introducing them? Especially during a very special session?

Few hazards on the road are more dangerous than cars out after dark without headlights. Oh, and police consider it to be one of the prime signs that a drunk — or stoned — driver is behind the wheel.

If Gov. Ralph Northam signs this bill, people will be free to swerve around the highways of Virginia, invisible at night, and it will be illegal for the cops to make a stop.

I don’t know about you, but any time I spy a driver without his headlights I flash my high beams to get his or her attention.

That isn’t illegal. Not yet, anyway.

It’s up to ordinary folks to READ the dopey bills the anti-cop crowd is passing in Richmond and drive with care.

This column is republished with permission from Kerry: Unemployed & Unedited.

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35 responses to “Enjoy Driving at Night Without Headlights? You’re in Luck!

  1. How, exactly, did Michael Bloomberg facilitate the headlight bill? You really ought to not make such assertions without any evidence.

    I can be a critic of Bloomberg, too, but I try to do ity with facts:


  2. I’ve always appreciated and considered the advice once given by Napoleon, to not interfere with your enemy when doing something extremely stupid. Shhhhh, until Northam signs it.

  3. Could we promote public safety while reducing citations if police issued warnings instead of citations for first offenses?

    • Yes! There was a story about a town in Kentucky/Tennessee where the police chief mandated warnings and only 1 in 5 stops resulted in tickets. They saved a fortune in having cops sitting in court.

      • And I’ll bet violations skyrocketed exponentially…

        • It was after Ferguerson. But the gist of the story was that there was less anxiety during stops since most people knew that unless it was their second stop or really egregious, they’d just get a warning and be entered into the system.

    • Police now have the discretion to give a ticket or a warning. I once got a warning when stopped for speeding. The other times I got a ticket.

      • The only cop stop I ‘ve had as a Virginian was for one headlight out.

        Above does not count being sent to criminal court by VGDIF park ranger for parking in wrong place at Burke Lake Park. GA should decriminalize fishing without a license while they are at it, but I got a lifetime license now.

  4. You guys do realize that the “headlightless” cars are the numb nuts who are usually on well-lit city streets that don’t realize they haven’t turned them on, right? Or those within the hour before sunset, or after sunrise that don’t have them on. Or those violating the “wipers on lights on” law.

    These are the people you can flash, and with some likelihood, they’ll turn them on. They don’t need to be pulled.

    These are the “reasons to pull the black guy” laws, and not the idiot white boys wondering if they can see by starlight.

    • They are often also the idiots who stumble out of the local watering hole around last call, jump in their older vehicles without automatic headlights, hit the gas and plow through neighborhood median strips, stop signs, parked cars and the occasional fitness fanatic exercising at midnight.

      • In which case, lights on lights off was not a problem nor a help.

        • Ah but lights off points to a problem that the police will now not be allowed to pursue. Think on this for a moment, if you can’t pull them over for driving with no lights and be allowed to pursue other charges, no DUI can be written. Thus, if you suspect you have one (or ten) too many, make sure you drive home with the lights off, no worries about a DUI.

  5. Several years ago a know dealer with multiple convictions was dealing in my cul de sac and made some none too vague threats against my wife. Several days later I observed him exiting the subdivision with only one headlight. Got in behind him, called the cell of the officer on duty (yes I have their cell numbers), officer pulled him over, cloud of dope smoke came out the window, officer searched the car. Lo and behold, and not too surprisingly, the officer found a handgun stolen a few nights before.

    But here is the real kicker, the dealer had been arrested on several occasions previously but had all of the charges reduced or thrown out as he was the darling informant of the drug task force. This time around, the task force asked for the same treatment and was taken to task by the judge as the defendant had up his game to include stolen weapons. Needless to say, the task force’s request was denied and off to the farm went our local dealer, never to be seen again. BTW, he was a tragically white dealer.

    • And, of course, you didn’t mention his dealing, just the broken light, right?

      • In truth, I had the PoPo bring him by my house the night they threatened my wife and yes the dealing was reported. The officers were kind enough to interview my wife well out of earshot and asked me to ensure they did not escape through the cruiser windows. We had a quite pointed discussion regarding the impact of driving past in the future on their internal organs.

  6. Baconator with extra cheese

    Why don’t they just legalize the damn weed and have police stop asshats from driving without lights?
    If the weed is the ill that has caused that much destruction of the black community please just find your balls and legalize it.

    • I agree. But even if it is legalized, it will still be illegal to drive under its influence. The police are, or at least used to be, empowered to pull you over for erratic driving and, if they smell alcohol (or marijuana) on you or in the car, arrest you for DUI?

      The democrats have exempted marijuana as a pretext for arrest – are they going to exempt alcohol also? After all, fair is fair…

  7. As I said in a comment in an earlier post, Hope has realized his mistake and indicated that he will consult with the governor’s office on the bill. I fully expect this bill to be returned to the legislature with an amendment to fix the headlights issue. Of course, Kelly did not mention that in her post. See the account and Hope’s comments in the Daily Press: https://www.dailypress.com/news/crime/dp-nw-general-assembly-police-20201011-g3ftvpea2ncwjeqswa7qckb3fi-story.html

    • What about bald tires and no windshield wipers in the rain? Or bumpers hanging by a thread or mufflers dragging on the pavement? Or any number of other equipment violations which represent a danger to other motorists? Will he fix those issues as well?

      • Isn’t that why we have a safety inspection in Virginia?

        • Presumably, but if the car is 25 years or older you can avoid state inspection by getting antique tags.

          Plus, I have lived in pretty much every part of the state (except the northern neck) at various times during my life and I have never lived anywhere that did not have “this guy who will pass pretty much anything”. I’ll bet there is one in your area right now, and you can find out who he is if you know the right kind (or, perhaps its the wrong kind) of people.

          And, I’m pretty sure this bill also forbids the police from pulling you over for an expired inspection sticker.

      • James Wyatt Whitehead V

        By law a hand operated windshield wiper like the ones on Old Model T’s qualifies and will pass a state inspection. I know a guy he pulled this trick on an old beater pickup. Carry Me Back to Old Virginny!

        • Wood is also an acceptable repair for holes in the floor of a vehicle.

          • Hmm, yes. I think nature dictates such for wood and holes.

            For example, a wooden dowel should be located near any through hull. Just one example.

          • James Wyatt Whitehead V

            I used plywood for the rusted out floorpans on my 1970 VW Beetle. I did the real repair this summer. Welding is fun.

        • “By law a hand operated windshield wiper like the ones on Old Model T’s qualifies and will pass a state inspection”.

          I’ve owned several old Jeeps which had the next technological advancement in windshield wiper technology beyond hand operated – vacuum operated wiper motors.

          When you stepped on the gas, the wipers would stop. I added a vacuum reservoir from an old Saab to one of them and it reduced the effect considerably.

      • Rain-X. Haven’t turned on my wipers in years. But, get the stuff in the little yellow bottle that you apply and polish with newspaper, and not anything you spray.

        • Yes. And Rain-X Anti-Fog (black bottle) works very well on the inside of the windshield to eliminate the need for defogging. It also works great on the inside of motorcycle helmet face shields to prevent “exhalation-fogging” on cold mornings. Again, use the liquid which you apply directly and polish – not the spray.

  8. As some of my friends who are Democrats say, “Hope the Dope.”

    I see a judge fined the Speaker $500 and ordered her to pay $2000 in attorney fees for lying in response to a FOIA request. But a GA official appears to have said she did this to make Virginia more equitable.

  9. Part of it is probably the car tax makes it best for lower income people to own tax-free older cars.

    Call us the Cash for Clunkers state.

  10. “According to several news reports, Hope was unaware that his bill made it legal to zip around in the dark without headlights. ”

    Well then Del. Hope is either illiterate, deaf, or he is a moron. The motorcycle rights group to which I belong has been talking about this, and mentioning its flaws to legislators, since the bill was first introduced. Attempts were made to talk some sense into its proponents.

    As you probably already know, the bill affects more than just vehicles with defective lighting. It forbids police from pulling drivers over for any/all equipment violations – even a vehicle with a rear bumper dragging on the asphalt and held on by one rusty fastener, or a car travelling 70 mph on I-95 with its muffler dragging on the pavement

    As a motorcyclist who was once very nearly hit in the face by a bouncing trailer hitch assembly which fell off a rusty old pick-up truck (it passed close enough in front of my face for me to read the little blue and silver “Reese” sticker on the hitch assembly) I would like for police officers to at least be able to pull people over for potentially dangerous/hazardous equipment violations.

    A bill that was worded in a manner so as to allow officers to pull vehicles over for equipment violation but not allow them to use such violations as searching a vehicle would have at least helped keep [some] vehicles which are a danger to other motorists off the highways.

    But the democrats would not hear of it. In the name of “social justice” they were bound and determined to provide immunity from arrest for their dearly beloved criminal class no matter the danger to the rest of us – and that is exactly what they did. And, of course, the fact that they couched the need for this bill in racial terms tells us exactly how racist they really are.

  11. Oops. Meant to write: “…but not allow them to use such violations as pretext for searching a vehicle…”

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