Q: Dear Trooper Troy: I would like to know if it is legal to have your fog lights on with your headlights at night when it is not foggy out. I have noticed a lot of vehicles with all four lights on while driving at night. These extra two lights do make it much more difficult to see when they are coming at you at night.

 

A: Trooper Troy Says: Yes it is legal if the lights are within the proper height and aimed within the legal range. I recommend that fog lights are only used in low visibility settings, as some of them can be hard on the other driver’s eyes.

Below is the state statute that cover fog lights.

169.56 AUXILIARY LIGHTS. Subd. 2. Fog light. Any motor vehicle may be equipped with not to exceed two fog lamps mounted on the front at a height not less than 12 inches nor more than 30 inches above the level surface upon which the vehicle stands. High-beams simply light up the fog and can make it difficult to see.  Fog lights light up the road below the fog. The fog light reflectors are designed to spread the beam wider for a shorter distance.

Make sure all of your markers, directionals, parking lights and low/high-beam lights are working. Remember to turn on your headlights in the rain. Use the fog lights only when you have very low visibility, and don't forget to turn them off when the fog has lifted. Even though it may be legal, it can make visibility to the other drivers difficult.

A portion of state statutes were used with permission from the Office of the Revisor of Statutes. If you have any questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota send your questions to Sgt. Troy Christianson – Minnesota State Patrol at 2900 48th Street NW, Rochester MN 55901-5848.  (Or reach him at, Troy.Christianson@state.mn.us) Twitter:MSPPIO_SOUTH