The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Our Readers Speak

February 25, 2014

Our Readers Speak — Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014

Bright headlights are disrespectful

I was very interested to read an article in Our Readers Speak. A gentlemen named Larry was lamenting how “headlights are for safety, required by law.” I agree, with reservations, but would probably define “stupid” and “ignorant” somewhat differently than Larry does.

I think those aftermarket headlight bulbs that project the blazingly bright blue or white beams should be outlawed. Those lights seem to burn a hole in my eyeballs before I can look away.

In my estimation, motorists who use those types of headlights are being disrespectful of other motorists. It also seems these same motorists are the ones who drive with high-beams on (even in daylight) and don’t know or don’t care where the dimmer switch is. And could it be they are also the ones who tailgate day and night with highbeams on, causing us to either drive half-blinded or re-position the rearview mirrors, thereby negating one of our own safety tools?

A great number of pickup trucks, SUVs and larger vehicles have headlights that are equal in height to the windshield and rear window of my passenger car. I for one would support a law being passed that would require the headlights on all newly manufactured vehicles to be the same height from the ground.

I have personally seen a “Silver Eagle” bus with headlights equal in height to my own automobile, and these vehicles have some of the best “miles without accident” records of any vehicle made. So I know that manufacturing vehicles in this manner is possible.

I am well into my senior-citizen years and I seem to recall that in my early driving days the law required us to stop instead of hitting something in the highway. If we did hit it, we were judged by the law as being at fault. Now, it seems, the fault is with whatever was in the highway. It seems that drivers in general assume that the highway around that turn ahead is clear.

I do not subscribe to that driving habit and I try to assume the road could be blocked.  I wonder how many of today’s younger drivers know the answer to the question “What is the meaning of overdriving your headlights?”  That question was on the driver’s license test I passed as a teenager and had I not known the answer I would not have passed the test.

I think it was the movie character Forrest Gump who said “stupid is as stupid does” and I would totally agree. Not seeing something is practically the same as being blinded and both can have disastrous results on the road. So instead of being stupid or ignorant (and calling each other names) why don’t we all make sure we can be seen on the highway without blinding the other drivers?

Edward H. Lively


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