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Ask the Mayor: Are Blinding LED Headlights Legal?

April 9, 2017, 2:09 PM HST (Updated April 9, 2017, 2:13 PM) · 4 Comments
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Maui Now stock photo.

Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the questions submitted to his staff.

Submit your own questions about County of Maui programs, services, operations or policies to Mayor Alan Arakawa at AskTheMayor@mauicounty.gov, 270-7855 or mail them to 200 S. High St., 9th Floor, Wailuku, HI 96793.

Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the “Ask the Mayor” column.

Mr. Mayor,

Q: There is a growing concern in our community about vehicles with LED headlights on our highways. I’m not sure if this is legal or not, but these headlights present a danger to commuters who drive at night or in the early morning— it’s like looking directly into the sun. They are blinding and could lead to a serious traffic incident.

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Can you please look into this issue? Thank you.

A: While these lights do appear to be bright or even colored, some vehicles may be equipped with High-Intensity Discharge (HID) headlamps that are in compliance with federal motor vehicle safety standards whether or not they are factory-installed or after-market.

At certain distances or angles, these HID headlamps may appear to have a colored or blue appearance; however, at close range, they emit a white light. Other headlights that do not emit a white light are not legal and will not pass safety inspection.

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