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What does Georgia state law say about using high beam headlights?

A viewer emailed us asking to clarify what the law is on how to properly use high beam headlights.

MACON, Ga. — Using your bright lights on a dark road at night can help you see better, but if you don't use them correctly, it can blind other drivers around you.

Jerry Booth emailed 13WMAZ asking if there are any laws on using high beam lights. Lt. Scott Davis with the Bibb County Sheriff's Office Traffic Division explains what's in Georgia Code Section 40-8-31.

"In layman's terms, you're having bright lights as we refer to them normally, high beams, bright lights, they are to be reduced within 200-feet of a motorist that you're following, or within 500-feet of an approaching motorist," Davis said.

He says the best practice is to be courteous of others when using your high beams. Dimming your high beams when you're near traffic can help avoid a crash.

"You're obscuring what they should be watching in front of them, which is potentially the vehicle that's traveling towards them or persons or animals or objects in the roadway," Davis said.

If you happen to see another driver using their high beam lights incorrectly, Davis says it's okay to give them a quick flash with your high beams to help them recognize what they're doing.

"Those people will realize what you're doing because it's common practice. They will realize what you're doing and be courteous back to you or extend that courtesy back to you," Davis said.

He says anyone who's had custom work done or made changes to their head lights needs to be mindful of how bright they are to other drivers.

Code Section 40-8-20 says three points can be added to your license for headlight violations. Davis adds that you can be fined for using your high beams inappropriately.


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