Every now and again, it becomes necessary to flick on your car's high beams while you're driving to better light your way. But what if you leave them on too long? Can you be pulled over and even ticketed for it in New Jersey?

One of my BIGGEST pet peeves in life? Drivers who don't understand the concept of high beams or just simply don't pay attention.

If you have to use your high beams to see the road better, and you spot another car coming in your direction, you're supposed to lower your headlights back down to normal from a reasonable distance so as not to blind the other driver. And lots of drivers, myself including, have at one time or another, used high beams to overcompensate for a dead headlight bulb.

However, I can't tell you how many times I've had to shield my eyes from an oncoming driver who keep their high beams on as we pass each other. It's annoying. But is it ILLEGAL?


The New Jersey high beam law, N.J.S.A 39:3-60, according to Gorman Law Firm, states that a driver is required to dim his or her high beams if he is approached by another oncoming vehicle.

An officer CAN invoke this law as a reason for initiating a traffic stop and you could, in fact, be issued a summons.

Roughly 2,000 tickets for high beam infractions are given to drivers in New Jersey annually, NJ.com reports.

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Having said that, the NJ Supreme Court ruled recently that police cannot use the high beam statute as the grounds to pull over a driver and search the vehicle unless evidence exists that the vehicle’s high beams would interfere with the driving of another person.

Bottom line: Yes, you can be pulled over and ticketed for leaving your high beams on too long. So, now that you know, maybe be more mindful!

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