Studies show keeping headlights on saves lives

Feb. 22’s “Today’s Editorial,” and letter writers over the years, complained about the apparent ignorance of safe practices by Maui people driving around in the semi-darkness or in other low-visibility conditions like rain with no headlights.

Studies have shown that, even in good visibility, the use of headlights saves lives.

Some jurisdictions require their use whenever the engine is running. Just because you can see others doesn’t mean others can see you, which is just as important.

I was going to suggest the Maui Police Department enforce the law, but when I researched the matter I was flabbergasted to learn that Hawaii state law is written completely backward from the way it reads everywhere else.

In most places, the headlight law says, “Headlights must be used from one hour before sunset to one hour after sunrise.” This makes sense because it is sometimes twilight due to clouds on the horizon at sunrise and sunset, and the sun low on the horizon tends to reduce visibility because it is in drivers’ eyes. But not in Hawaii. Here, the law reads, “Headlights must be used from one hour after sunset to one hour before sunrise.” Go figure.

No wonder pedestrians get hit so frequently.

Richard “Ole” Olson