Story by: Samantha Boatman
MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News)--It's hard to ignore them at night, those blindingly bright blue headlights that make it hard to see just about anything.
But, Louisiana lawmakers didn't ignore the bright headlights this session. If you have those bright lights, you'll need to fix them or pay a fine.
They're just about anywhere: on the road, in the headlines and on luxury cars. Headlights that give off a blue tint and are extremely bright. Now, the "high intensity discharge headlights" have made it into Louisiana law, because not all lights are alike.
"If they're dimmer or brighter than what came from the factory, they're against the law," says Ouachita Chief Deputy Jay Russell.
Police and deputies now have the right to pull over someone they believe is driving with headlights that didn't come with the car. You can go online or stop by an auto parts store and buy the "hid" lights. Unless they're in compliance with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, you can get a ticket.
"He has a right at that point to stop you and issue a citation if the knows, or he can prove that or believes that they're after market headlights," says Chief Russell.
The first time you get pulled over for driving with headlights that aren't made for you car, you're going to get a ticket for 50 dollars, the next time you get pulled over and every time after that, it's going to be 75 dollars.
Chief Russell says it's hard to predict whether the fine will change the mind of drivers with illegal headlights. But something that can stop them, is passing inspection.
"They're not supposed to issue an inspection sticker if you have altered anything on that vehicle that came from the factory," says Chief Russell.
Chief Russell warns-- changing anything on your car can be extremely dangerous to you, and other drivers.
"That's why the standards are there, so they need to abide by those standards when they bought the vehicle," says Chief Russell.
Before you buy new headlights, check with the company that makes them, or even look on the box to make sure they are in compliance with the NHTSA.
Also, make sure they're adjusted at the right level.