Is It Illegal to Flash Your Headlights at Another Car in Minnesota?
In Minnesota, we know there are all kinds of things we're not supposed to do when we're driving -- but do anyway (sometimes). From driving with snow on our car to checking our phones when we're stopped at a light -- to speeding and not turning on our lights when its raining.
But what about flashing your headlights at another vehicle coming at you with their high beams on -- blinding you for the moment? It's even worse with those super-bright new headlights out there. Is it ok to give 'em a quick flash or two, or is that another no-no in Minnesota?
It's illegal. (Yes, really.) Flipping your high beams on once or twice to let another oncoming vehicle that they have their high beams on is officially against the law in Minnesota.
In an article on hometownsource.com, Sargent Jesse Grabow of the Minnesota State Patrol says:
A person is not allowed to “flash” their headlights at another vehicle, even if that vehicle has its high beams on. When meeting a vehicle in Minnesota, dim your headlights to low beams at 1,000 feet (even on a divided roadway.) Also use your low beams when you’re following another vehicle at 200 feet or less.
Minnesota's Headlight High Beam Statute 169.61
(a) When a motor vehicle is being operated on a highway or shoulder adjacent thereto during the times when lighted lamps on vehicles are required in this chapter, the driver shall use a distribution of light, or composite beam, directed high enough and of sufficient intensity to reveal persons and vehicles at a safe distance in advance of the vehicle, subject to the following requirements and limitations.
(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.
(c) When the driver of a vehicle follows another vehicle within 200 feet to the rear, except when engaged in the act of overtaking and passing, such driver shall use a distribution of light permissible under this chapter other than the uppermost distribution of light specified in section 169.60.
Well there you have it. Flashing the high beams is illegal in Minnesota. And obviously, the vehicle approaching you with their high beams on is also in violation of the law.
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