Maui Discussion

Ask the Mayor: Does the Law Require Driving with Headlights On?

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Kula Sunset 3.8.15 / Image: Jack Dugan

Ask the Mayor

Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the most-asked questions submitted to his office staff.

Dear Mayor:


Q: I’ve been seeing a lot more people driving with their headlights off at dusk when the sun sets. What does the law require when driving without headlights?


A: Maui County Code Chapter 10.20.020, which mirrors Section 291-25 of the Hawaiʻi Revised Statues (HRS), states that “every vehicle upon a highway within this county at any time from a half hour after sunset to a half hour before sunrise […] shall display lighted lamps and illuminating devices.”

Headlights must also be used during times when, “due to insufficient light or unfavorable atmospheric conditions, persons and vehicles on the highway are not clearly discernible at a distance of five hundred feet ahead.”

A violation may result in a fine of $47, as set by the HRS. Alternate lighting in lieu of headlights is allowed, provided it is capable of revealing persons and objects 75 feet ahead and that “at no time shall [the motor vehicle] be operated at a speed in excess of 20 miles per hour” (10.20.030).


While it’s true that some folks may simply forget or think their lights were already on, others may be driving under the influence. Because of this, drivers should not hesitate to call for police service should they notice a car or motorcycle being driven without headlights.

Want to Ask the Mayor?

Submit your questions about County of Maui programs, services, operations or policies to Mayor Alan Arakawa via email at [email protected], by phone at 270-7855 or by mail to 200 S. High St., 9th Floor, Wailuku, HI 96793. Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the Ask the Mayor column.

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