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      05-24-2020, 03:23 PM   #1
X3power
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Red face "Failure to dim light" ticket

Anyone have experience with a ticket like this:

"Failure to dim lights" (first offense) $62

I was driving in my X3 out of state (in New Hampshire) on a pretty empty road with my high beams on. It was around 11:30 PM. In essence, the road was a one way road, so no oncoming traffic.

A black police car sped past me in the neighboring lane and tapped its brakes a few times. I couldn't interpret what the officer in the car was trying to do. He then pulled me over and said that he was trying to signal me to dim my lights and served me a complaint summons.

I can either plead not guilty, guilty, or no contest (NoLo). I will pay it, but am worried that maybe insurance will see it and rack up prices?
Anyone have clues?

Anyone else here received a ticket like this?
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Last edited by X3power; 05-25-2020 at 09:17 AM..
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      05-24-2020, 03:51 PM   #2
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Before you decide, make sure it isn't considered a moving violation that will result in a point on your driving record and jack up your insurance rates. If it is, check if there's an option to keep it off your record by attending traffic school.

No contest (nolo contendere if you like Latin) results in the same conviction as a guilty plea, but it might not be admissible in a civil suit; for example, if failure to dim your lights caused an accident.

It appears to be a strict liability statute, which means you're guilty regardless of whether your high beams adversely affect other drivers.

Quote:
NH Rev Stat § 265:114 (2015)Dimming Lights. – The driver of any vehicle upon approaching, overtaking or while following within a distance of approximately 150 feet of another vehicle on a way during the period from 1/2 hour after sunset to 1/2 hour before sunrise shall dim his headlights.
California's high beam law is a little less specific.

Quote:
California Vehicle Code §22409(a) Whenever the driver of a vehicle approaches an oncoming vehicle within 500 feet, he shall use a distribution of light or composite beam so aimed that the glaring rays are not projected into the eyes of the oncoming driver.The lowermost distribution of light specified in this article shall be deemed to avoid glare at all times regardless of road contour.
I've only seen it used once in 20 years, where the cop used it as probable cause to stop my client for DUI (but people don't hire me to handle traffic tickets, either, because my fees would be many times the cost of the ticket).
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      05-24-2020, 04:20 PM   #3
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Sounds like a legitimate high beam ticket. Maybe you blinded him, didn't realize it and went on your way - meaning he was driving in the opposite direction. Trooper then turned around to brake in front of you to turn off your high beams because you annoyed him by blinding him, which is dangerous, or he could have did it so you are more mindful of them being on. You didn't turn them off even when he pulled in front of you, so he ticketed you.
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      05-24-2020, 04:21 PM   #4
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      05-24-2020, 04:49 PM   #5
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Not sure about the X3 but my last two M3's had auto high beams. It dims for you.
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      05-24-2020, 04:54 PM   #6
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Patrol officers are human, so they probably have pet peeves just like the rest of us. Curious why you didn't dim your high beams?
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      05-24-2020, 04:54 PM   #7
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Thank you, rlmesq for the quick and detailed reply.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rlmesq View Post
Before you decide, make sure it isn't considered a moving violation that will result in a point on your driving record and jack up your insurance rates. If it is, check if there's an option to keep it off your record by attending traffic school.
According to the officer, there are no points for the ticket. I suppose that means it isn't a moving violation. I searched online today to confirm, but I couldn't find a legitimate source to check.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rlmesq View Post
No contest (nolo contendere if you like Latin) results in the same conviction as a guilty plea, but it might not be admissible in a civil suit; for example, if failure to dim your lights caused an accident.

It appears to be a strict liability statute, which means you're guilty regardless of whether your high beams adversely affect other drivers.
I take it you mean that the ticket is valid whether or not the high beams actually caused anyone issues.

Does that mean NoLo looks like the best option?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rlmesq View Post

I've only seen it used once in 20 years, where the cop used it as probable cause to stop my client for DUI (but people don't hire me to handle traffic tickets, either, because my fees would be many times the cost of the ticket).
Yeah, I didn't think these are very common. Probably more than every other car that passed me had their high beams on the entire time, and somehow I got lucky last night with this ticket.
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      05-24-2020, 07:18 PM   #8
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Agree with the others and a total douche move. If you need the extra light to see better, just turn the high beams back on when on coming traffic clears you or there are no cars in front of you going in your direction of travel. It's not bloody hard.

I know it's childish, but when someone does this to me, I fire back with my high beams. If it's an on coming car, I leave the high beams on till they pass. If it's someone blinding me from behind, I'll slow down, let them pass, and then fire up my high beams the making sure I'm directly behind the offender.
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      05-24-2020, 07:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ppointer View Post
Patrol officers are human, so they probably have pet peeves just like the rest of us. Curious why you didn't dim your high beams?
I know officers that have pet peeves and if I was an officer the high beams on would be mine lol

A traffic officer I know got a ticket in his personal vehicle for not having large enough mud flaps on his truck to cover the rear tires. It bothered him so much that he got a ticket and had to fix it that now he looks for people to give that same ticket to.
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      05-24-2020, 08:13 PM   #10
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So as another car was coming toward you (a cop car)....you left your high beams on?? Why would you leave your high beams on?? That's a dick move.

Your fault for not turning your brights off ....you deserved the ticket.

No different from people that cruise in the left (passing lane) and never get over......you aren't the only person on the road!

Sounds like you need to learn how to not drive like a jerk.
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      05-24-2020, 08:19 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zx10guy View Post
Agree with the others and a total douche move. If you need the extra light to see better, just turn the high beams back on when on coming traffic clears you or there are no cars in front of you going in your direction of travel. It's not bloody hard.

I know it's childish, but when someone does this to me, I fire back with my high beams. If it's an on coming car, I leave the high beams on till they pass. If it's someone blinding me from behind, I'll slow down, let them pass, and then fire up my high beams the making sure I'm directly behind the offender.
Its more than childish. It can be dangerous. Please stop
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      05-24-2020, 09:22 PM   #12
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Can cops enforce this more often?

Literally just sit at any corner in NYC and they'll be able to get a ticket to every 3rd car. Honestly some drivers here must think that blue symbol that appears must mean your headlights are on.
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      05-24-2020, 09:31 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 9M4N71U View Post
Can cops enforce this more often?

Literally just sit at any corner in NYC and they'll be able to get a ticket to every 3rd car. Honestly some drivers here must think that blue symbol that appears must mean your headlights are on.
This makes a lot of sense. I bet people do think that the blue high beam light means their lights are just on.

Still no excuse and it makes me crazy. Wish ever car came with auto high beam assist.
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      05-24-2020, 10:06 PM   #14
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If you had your Hi beams on that was your fault.
I hate oncoming traffic that doesn’t turn them off, or if I pass someone and they leave them on.
Be more thoughtful to other drivers...
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      05-25-2020, 08:31 AM   #15
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Guys, I hate oncoming high beams. My eyes don't cope with it well. I agree with you.

And, I'm not sure why we're talking about oncoming traffic, since the oncoming traffic can't see the beams here since the two are separated by a large middle gap and trees by design of the road. There are also no U-turns on the road for mile no end.

On this road, oncoming cars can't see your beams and you can't see theirs because to the separation of the two directions.

I also agree with the folks that said -- why not enforce this more often. I'd personally rather see officers enforce it more often too. As 9M4N71U said, they'd ticket every third car! On this same road I was driving, probably not even every 3rd, but every second car had their high beams on. So that seemed to be the norm. Why not pull over other cars on the road? I think he just kept going. I guess my mistake was doing what other drivers did on the road and assuming its fine.
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      05-25-2020, 08:40 AM   #16
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Driving around with high beams in the city is prohibited , even if your out in the country u still should turn them.off when u see cars coming the other way

Do you know how annnoying it is for other people to be blinded by some nellie driving around with their high beams?
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      05-25-2020, 08:43 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoneIn4Secs View Post
Driving around with high beams in the city is prohibited , even if your out in the country u still should turn them.off when u see cars coming the other way

Do you know how annnoying it is for other people to be blinded by some nellie driving around with their high beams?
Yeah man, I agree with you. And, again, there is only one way traffic. Zero oncoming traffic (see last message above). So not sure why we need to bring it up, since there is only one way traffic.
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      05-25-2020, 08:58 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ppointer View Post
Patrol officers are human, so they probably have pet peeves just like the rest of us. Curious why you didn't dim your high beams?
Good question.

I had been dimming my lights for the first hour on the road, but having been passed by so many other cars that didn't do it (probably every 2nd or 3rd car just keeps them on), I guess I figured that it was fine and this was the norm...

I mean it kinda sucks, because I actually rather have people dim their lights, but since they don't, i just adjust my mirrors appropriately.
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      05-25-2020, 09:03 AM   #19
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X3power So the cop passed you, pulled in front of you and tapped his brakes. Did you have your brights on when he was in front of you?

I can tell you my giant 3/4 ton chevy irritates a lot of people I follow because of how high they are. If I were to put the brights on while I was behind them, I think they would melt.
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      05-25-2020, 09:08 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corn18 View Post
X3power So the cop passed you, pulled in front of you and tapped his brakes. Did you have your brights on when he was in front of you?

I can tell you my giant 3/4 ton chevy irritates a lot of people I follow because of how high they are. If I were to put the brights on while I was behind them, I think they would melt.
Hi corn18, he sped past me in the lane on my right. So, he didn't get in front of me in my own lane. He was in front of me in the nearby lane. Yes, , i did not adjust my long lights.

Yeah I had a few large trucks, probably some chevys as well, that were behind me for some time on the road too. Some of them even had the headlights over the roof on. The lights and size is a little intimidating. I adjust my mirrors/
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      05-25-2020, 09:11 AM   #21
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So.... You're one of "those" people who don't have courtesy for others, and now is upset that you were put in check for failing to DIM your highbeams when I vehicle passed you and got in front of you. You further attempt to somehow justify it bying explaining the type of road, etc., when the simple fact is what you did, was wrong!

In this case, it happened to be an LE officer, who exercised his discretion and wrote you a ticket for your offense. I applaud the officer and suggest you accept this as a lesson in good driving habits.

In a worst case scenario, it's an irate driver who break checks you... And maybe you wind up in a worse situation because either your failure to "read" the situation when someone for some reason, hits the brakes in front of you, or you just don't care! But here it appears you're not happy with the consequence for your action, or lack thereof.

Obviously, I have no compassion for your situation and suggest you just count your losses and pay the ticket! Or hey! Stay on that high horse and fight it... Lmao!
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      05-25-2020, 09:15 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cooolone2 View Post
So.... You're one of "those" people who don't have courtesy for others, and now is upset that you were put in check for failing to DIM your highbeams when I vehicle passed you and got in front of you. You further attempt to somehow justify it bying explaining the type of road, etc., when the simple fact is what you did, was wrong!

In this case, it happened to be an LE officer, who exercised his discretion and wrote you a ticket for your offense. I applaud the officer and suggest you accept this as a lesson in good driving habits.

In a worst case scenario, it's an irate driver who break checks you... And maybe you wind up in a worse situation because either your failure to "read" the situation when someone for some reason, hits the brakes in front of you, or you just don't care! But here it appears you're not happy with the consequence for your action, or lack thereof.

Obviously, I have no compassion for your situation and suggest you just count your losses and pay the ticket! Or hey! Stay on that high horse and fight it... Lmao!
Not fighting it, man. Whether or not it makes some difference, explaining the context.
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