Maui Discussion

Ask the Mayor: Are Blinding LED Headlights Legal?

April 9, 2017, 2:09 PM HST
* Updated April 9, 2:13 PM
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Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the questions submitted to his staff.

Submit your own questions about County of Maui programs, services, operations or policies to Mayor Alan Arakawa at [email protected], 270-7855 or mail them to 200 S. High St., 9th Floor, Wailuku, HI 96793.

Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the “Ask the Mayor” column.

Mr. Mayor,

Q: There is a growing concern in our community about vehicles with LED headlights on our highways. I’m not sure if this is legal or not, but these headlights present a danger to commuters who drive at night or in the early morning— it’s like looking directly into the sun. They are blinding and could lead to a serious traffic incident.


Can you please look into this issue? Thank you.


A: While these lights do appear to be bright or even colored, some vehicles may be equipped with High-Intensity Discharge (HID) headlamps that are in compliance with federal motor vehicle safety standards whether or not they are factory-installed or after-market.

At certain distances or angles, these HID headlamps may appear to have a colored or blue appearance; however, at close range, they emit a white light. Other headlights that do not emit a white light are not legal and will not pass safety inspection.

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