Is it just me or are headlights on cars getting brighter? During the recent cold snap, I was out during the nighttime hours picking up firewood from out in the country and noticed everybody driving with their brights on.

But that's not all. It seems everybody in these big ole pickup trucks have got extra fog lamps on their front bumpers an you don't have o sir this is why I was this morning so I was* on the roll bar above the cab of their truck. When I got home, one of my kids' friends was sitting in my driveway in his three-quarter-ton dually with his KC Fog Lamps all turned on. So I asked, "Son, do you drive with those fog lamps on when you are on the road?"

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He replied, "Yes, it's not against the law when you need to see where you're going!"  That's when I decided to call my friends at the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Sheriff's Office. Guess what? It actually is against the law to drive on a Texas road - two-lane or a four-lane - with any traffic with around and your brights/fog lights on.

Then I wondered if the new LED light bulbs are a brighter white and are legal. Granted, they offer increased visibility, an undisputed advantage on any road in America. In some areas of the country, there are restrictions on what kind of headlight you can have on your car.

In Texas, LED lights are perfectly legal, though there are some caveats. But back to my original question. What are the regulations for driving with your bright lights on, whether you're blinding oncoming traffic or blinding the driver in front of you from behind?

My friend Sergeant Marc Couch with the Texas DPS referred me to the Texas Transportation Code 547.333 and the Federal 102 and 107 Standards. For the most part, the law reads that one MUST dim their brights to oncoming traffic when on two-lane roads. This also applies to four-lane roads.

However, if you are on an interstate or highway that has a center median with concrete dividers, you DO NOT have to dim your brights to oncoming traffic. You DO have to dim your brights if you are following behind someone going in your same direction. I discovered that the fine for failing to dim your lights in Texas (first offense) is $235, and it goes up from there.

So let's all play nice and dim your bright headlights when there are other vehicles in sight. That way our local police officers, sheriff's deputies, and DPS troopers can continue patrolling the streets without having to get out to give us tickets in this cold weather.

LOOK: What major laws were passed the year you were born?

Data for this list was acquired from trusted online sources and news outlets. Read on to discover what major law was passed the year you were born and learn its name, the vote count (where relevant), and its impact and significance.

Gallery Credit: Katelyn Leboff

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