Beginning Jan. 1, Tennessee drivers will no longer be allowed to have colored headlights. Only white or amber headlights will be legally acceptable.
“We just thought it would be appropriate that law enforcement and citizens don’t have the same color headlights,” said Sen. Art Swann.
This new law is effective immediately Monday. Swann said drivers had a grace period to replace colored headlights after the bill was passed May 23.
Violations will be class C misdemeanors and are punishable with a fine up to $167.
“We just want to help people know when they see those blue lights, that it’s law enforcement and they are safe,” Swann said.
In addition to law enforcement, there are exceptions to the rule. Some include school buses, postal service vehicles, emergency vehicles such as firetrucks or ambulances, vehicles owned or operated by the division of forestry, privately owned vehicles of regular or volunteer firefighters certified in the required equipment on vehicles code 55-9-201 and other emergency vehicles owned, operated or subsidized by any municipality or county.
Other exceptions also include motorcycle escorts that have green strobe lights in funeral processions as identified in code 55-8-183, vehicles owned or leased to public or private security guards (this does not include his or her privately-owned vehicle) can have colored lights other than red, white or blue, highway maintenance and utility vehicles and organ transplant vehicles can have flashing white or amber lights.
The full bill, Senate Bill 0194, can be viewed on www.capitol.tn.gov.