Sen. Dorsey Ridley ‘major’ highway safety legislation signed into law

FRANKFORT – A highway safety issue brought forth by Senator Dorsey Ridley, D-Henderson, to standardize the color of vehicle headlights and rear lights was signed into law yesterday.

Ridley was able to get his idea to restrict modifications of vehicles with certain replacement headlights and other rear lights through the legislative process with compromise.

The new law, which will take effect on July 1, has been referred to as the biggest highway safety measure since the passage of the seatbelt law in Kentucky.

The issue was brought to Ridley’s attention by citizens and law enforcement officers from across the state. “Several people complained to me about the super bright headlights and different colors on some vehicles and they were distracting.  It was becoming a real safety issue.  This distraction was presenting a real danger for drivers,” said Ridley, a member of the Senate Transportation Committee.

Ridley worked with local law enforcement officers, the Kentucky State Police, the Kentucky Justice Cabinet, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and other agencies across the state to get this issued resolved.

The new law will prohibit vehicles from:

  • Emitting anything other than white light,
  • Require all headlamps to meet US Department of Transportation regulations,
  • Prohibit headlamps that appear to emit a solid color other than white,
  • Prohibit headlamp covers or film that changes the color of the light emitted,
  • Outline provisions for front and rear lighting of a vehicle, and
  • Exempt original equipment lighting installed by the manufacturer.

Ridley said that this new law will not have any effect on the original equipment installed on cars and trucks by the manufacturer, but will only affect changing of the color of lights added after the vehicle is rolled off the assembly line.

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