Nothing quite rings in the holiday season like Christmas lights, but they can present a
road safetyissue when attached to cars.
The festive lights are quite bright and could obscure drivers’ vision on the road. It can be hard to see when you encounter drivers with
bright headlights—imagine how bright a car full of Christmas lights would be.
Because of this hazard, attaching lights to cars could result in a fine. According to
CleanTechnica, a Canadian Tesla driver received a Christmas lights fine from police.
Canadian driver gets fined for Christmas lights
Tesla vehicles have been in recent news for
Autopilot crashes, but this issue wasn’t the vehicle's fault. In this case, the safety concern was related to Christmas lights wrapped around a Tesla. The lights were placed on the Tesla with duct tape and covered most of the car's exterior.
Because of the lights, the driver was pulled over by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and given a ticket.
Christmas lights don't seem like the most dangerous things on the road, but the police may have had a point here. The lights could have blinded other drivers, especially at night. Seeing as the lights were only held on with duct tape, they also could have come off while driving.
Is it always illegal to hang Christmas lights on your car?
While this driver's festive decorations were deemed a danger to their driving, not every car with Christmas lights gets a fine. This particular traffic ticket was given out in Canada, so results may vary depending on where you are.
If you have put Christmas lights on your car in the past or are interested in doing so, it might help to contact your local police department. They can tell you whether the lights could potentially lead to a violation.
That being said, lights could be a serious distraction. Even if it is legal in your area, you should probably only drive with Christmas lights in a holiday parade or other festivals. Otherwise, the Christmas lights might bring an unnecessary distraction to the road.
Dangers of distracted driving
Distracted drivingis one of the leading causes of collisions. CleanTechnica reported that 3,477 people were killed due to distracted driving in America in 2015. Eliminating distractions like looking at phones can help make driving safer for everyone.
Even if someone is only briefly looking at the lights on a car, any time a driver takes their eyes off the road is dangerous. Christmas lights help spread seasonal joy, but it might be a good idea to keep them away from your car. No one wants to get a ticket around the holidays.
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