NH Law About... Dimming Headlights

Introduction to... Dimming Headlights

Updated February 22, 2017.

The question that prompted this guide was "at what point do motorists have to dim their headlights when another vehicle is coming towards them" (for the answer, see RSA 265:114 Dimming Lights). That led us into some interesting side paths about when to use vehicle lights (see RSA 265:109 Period of Lighting; RSA 266:31 Front Lights) and other motor vehicle light-related issues.

RSA 265:109 through RSA 265:114 is all about Use of Lights: front and rear, parking, reflective, and headlights, but look also under the type of vehicle: school bus, motorcycle, antique, emergency, off-road, etc. As always, our best suggestion is to use the print index to the statutes. Look under “Motor Vehicles” and then under the subdivision “Lights and Lighting.”  Once you get to the appropriate RSA chapter, check the beginning of the chapter, which gives a list of subdivisions included, shows you the context of all of the statutes in that section, and functions as a table of contents for that chapter. Most of this information is found in RSA 265, Rules of the Road and RSA 266, Equipment of Vehicles.  

The American Law Reports (A.L.R.) articles mentioned below are available from the New Hampshire Law Library.

Please remember that this guide is for information purposes only and is not comprehensive. It is intended as a starting point for research, to illustrate the various sources of the law, and to provide guidance in their use. NH Law About ...  is not a substitute for the services of an attorney.  

Read about... Dimming Headlights


New Hampshire. Dept. of Safety. Uniform Fine Schedule

Link verified on: February 22, 2017

The Uniform Fine Schedule (DSMV 428) is found under the Financial Responsibility section, about halfway down the page.   GO>


63 A.L.R.3d 824 (1975). Liability or Recovery in Automobile Negligence Action as Affected by Motor Vehicles Being Driven or Parked Without Dimming Lights

"The duty to dim or deflect the bright lights of a motor vehicle in a proper situation is imposed on the owners or operators of parked as well as moving vehicles, and the failure to comply with the duty to dim lights may render the negligent motorist liable not only to one who suffers as a result of a collision with the car displaying the lights, but also to persons injured where the blinded driver collides with another vehicle, or collides with another object or goes off the road, or strikes one standing or walking on or near the highway."   GO>

Link verified on: February 22, 2017

64 A.L.R.3d 551 (1975). Liability or Recovery in Automobile Negligence Action as Affected by Drivers Being Blinded by Lights of Motor Vehicle

"This annotation collects the cases ... which are concerned with questions of the duty or liability of, or recovery by, a motorist whose vision is interfered with by bright or glaring lights from approaching vehicles."   GO>

Link verified on: February 22, 2017

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Read the law about... Dimming Headlights


RSA 265. Rules of the Road  GO>

Link verified on: February 22, 2017

RSA 266. Equipment of Vehicles  GO>

Link verified on: February 22, 2017

Find it in a Library ... New Hampshire Revised Statutes Annotated

Link verified on: June 29, 2018

Find the New Hampshire statutes in print at libraries throughout the state.   GO>

Find it in a Library ... New Hampshire selected motor vehicle, boating and related laws annotated  GO>

Link verified on: February 23, 2017

Learn About New Hampshire Statutes: New Hampshire statutes are the laws of the State of New Hampshire as enacted by the New Hampshire General Court. GO>


New Hampshire. Dept. of Safety. Division of Motor Vehicles. Driver's Manual   GO>

Link verified on: February 22, 2017

New Hampshire Law Library

Link verified on: June 29, 2018

The state's only public law library. Call, email, or visit, we'll be happy to help.   GO>

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