Traffic Talk: Funky-colored headlights may not be legal in Oklahoma

Don Gammill: As an Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper told me: “White is the color for the headlamps. The new lights do look blue, but they are approved if they come from the manufacturer that way. They are supposed to be a truer white color. No other color of headlamps are authorized.”
by Don Gammill Published: May 13, 2013
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You've probably noticed different types of headlights coming at you during the past few years.

Undoubtedly, there will be more.

To what extreme can they go?

Here are observations from one reader.

I have recently been in front of cars with purple, blue, and even bright yellow headlights. Are these legal? They seem so bright, especially the yellow ones. They were so bright, I had to turn all my mirrors away and drive 40 mph and sit way down in the seat just to see ahead of me, with my lights on bright. It really became an issue when I was meeting another car. What should I do when something like this happens again, because the car with the bright yellow headlights may live close to me? Help! I feel these extra bright headlights should be outlawed! They are a rolling deathtrap!”

We'll make this one simple.

For those of you with “different” lights, read slowly, please:

The following comes from the Oklahoma Statutes, Title 47 (Motor Vehicles), Chapter 12 (Equipment of Vehicles), Article 2 (Lamps and Lighting Devices).

We're looking at three sections 12-203, 12-204 and 12-206.

In 12-203, dealing with headlamps:

“A. Every motor vehicle shall be equipped with at least two headlamps emitting a white light with at least one lamp on each side of the front of the motor vehicle on the same level and as far apart as practicable.”

In 12-204, dealing with taillamps:

“A. Every motor vehicle, trailer, semitrailer and pole trailer, and any vehicle which is being drawn at the end of a combination of vehicles, shall be equipped with at least two taillamps mounted on the rear, on the same level and as widely spaced laterally as practicable which, when lighted, shall emit a red light visible from a distance of one thousand (1,000) feet to the rear; provided that, in the case of a combination of vehicles, only the taillamp on the rearmost vehicle need actually be seen from the distance specified.”

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by Don Gammill
General Assignment Editor and Columnist
Don Gammill is general assignment editor and columnist. A native of Ponca City, he graduated from Central State University (now the University of Central Oklahoma). While in college, he was a sports stringer for The Oklahoma City Times....
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