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Mar 14,2008
ODOT: Use fog lights correctly and safely
by Bend Weekly News Sources

With steadily increasing numbers of vehicles on the road with auxiliary or fog lights, state transportation safety officials are reminding people to use vehicle lighting correctly and safely.

"Driving towards a car with both headlights and fog or auxiliary lights on can be like driving toward a car with its high headlight beams on, it can be blinding," said Michele O'Leary with the Oregon Department of Transportation's Safety Division.

Fog lights are designed to be used at low speeds in fog, heavy mist and snow situations where visibility is significantly reduced. Front fog lights are generally aimed and mounted low to increase the illumination directed towards the road surface. In low visibility situations, fog lights should be dimmed or turned off when an oncoming vehicle approaches. In normal visibility conditions, fog or auxiliary lights should be turned off.

According to Oregon law, auxiliary and/or fog lights must be used like the high beam headlight system of your car. They must be dimmed or turned off within 500 feet of approaching an oncoming vehicle and 350 feet when following another vehicle. The color of auxiliary and/or fog lights is also regulated. Fog lights may be either white or amber (yellow). Rules prohibit other colors such as blue.

If your car came equipped with auxiliary lighting, O’Leary recommends knowing where the switches are, and how to use them – at least to turn the lights off, and leave them off if you don’t want to deal with dimming.

If you plan to install fog and/or auxiliary lights as an after market feature, it is important to know that Oregon has adopted special rules that manufacturers must meet. All products must be labeled; anything that is labeled “not for street use” cannot be used on public roadways. Manufacturers must meet or exceed SAE and/or DOT manufacturing standards to market their products for street use.

If you plan to install fog and/or auxiliary lights as an after market feature, it is important to know that Oregon has adopted special rules that manufacturers must meet. Products are required to be labeled that the product is not to be used on the street. Manufacturers must meet or exceed SAE and/or DOT manufacturing standards to market their products for street use.

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