The Free Press, Mankato, MN

September 27, 2013

Ask a Trooper: What are the rules regarding headlights?

By Jacalyn Sticha
Minnesota State Patrol

— On a two-lane or divided roadway a person needs to dim their bright lights for oncoming traffic within 1,000 feet and additionally they are to be dimmed within 200 feet when you are following another vehicle. This would also apply to traffic on frontage roads and roadways which are adjacent or have a common boundary, edge or are abutting.

169.61 Subv.(b) When the driver of a vehicle approaches a vehicle within 1,000 feet, such driver shall use a distribution of light, or composite beam, so aimed that the glaring rays are not projected into the eyes of the oncoming driver.

Many drive with their bright lights at night, without dimming, because they can see better. This is illegal and unsafe for all drivers.  If it is the only option for the driver, because vision would be too poor to drive without brights on, they should not be driving at night.  We do recommend, especially as we age, to have eyeglass prescription and eyes checked yearly. Often, new lenses and keeping up with our changing eyes can improve our experience with night and general driving.

If you have any traffic safety question contact Sgt. Sticha at,