The color of your headlights could earn you a fine. A Kentucky law that goes into effect at the end of the week requires your headlights to only emit the color white. It also says headlamps must meet United States Department of Transportation regulations.
With 18 hours down and four more to go, Karen Back stops at Whitehaven in Paducah on the frequent trip she makes from Florida to her hometown in Illinois.
"You have to be wide awake and pay attention to the vehicles around you," Back said.
Back says blue headlights on other cars distracted her a number of times on her drive.
"Whether they’re coming toward you on the other side of the road or behind you, they’re blinding," she said.
Members of law enforcement, including McCracken County Sheriff’s Deputy Michael Wray, also notice people mistaking the blue lights for emergency vehicles.
"Some people, when they try to yield, they yield rather quicker when they have those blue lights behind them, so there is the safety concern," Wray said.
Those concerns inspired Kentucky lawmakers to pass a bill that prohibits headlights that are any color but white.
The law doesn’t only ban colored bulbs. It also bans any tint or film you put over your headlights.
The law caused a local custom auto-shop to stop selling colored film and headlamps, like the ones you might find online. The owner wouldn’t talk on camera, but he says his business will take a hit.
"The clear white ones are so much easier on anyone’s eyes," Back.
Drivers like Back feel safer navigating the roads.
Wray says local law enforcement will give a 30-day grace period where people will get pulled over with a warning. That applies to all drivers on Kentucky roadways, even if they’re from out of state.
Wray says it’s always important to know the laws in the states you travel through.
The law only applies to after market modifications. Lights with a slight blue or yellow tint are okay as long as the manufacture installed them.
The law goes into effect July 1. It also regulates rear lights and lights on motorcycles and mopeds.
You can see the full law and the fines here.