PIERRE - A state lawmaker wants motorists to use headlights 30 minutes earlier at night and keep them on 30 minutes later in the morning on South Dakota streets and highways.
Rep. Burt Tulson, R-Lake Norden, presented his idea Tuesday to the House Transportation Committee. The panel rejected his bill 8-3.
His proposal was headlights must be used starting at sunset and through sunrise.
"I want your input, what you think is good on our highways," Tulson said.
Current law calls for headlights to be on 30 minutes after sunset and until 30 minutes before sunrise.
"And I don't want to get into the scientific explanation of dark," he said.
Rep. Tim Goodwin, R-Rapid City, asked how people would know the times of sunset and sunrise.
"I'm just worried about implementing this," Goodwin said.
He added that his 85-year-old mother wouldn't know the times.
Tulson said there are phone applications available and the times are published.
Capt. Brad Miller, of the South Dakota Highway Patrol, said the agency isn't taking a position on the legislation, HB 1126.
Rep. David Johnson, R-Rapid City, told Goodwin that existing law already relies on motorists knowing the times.
"What it amounts to is common sense," Johnson said.
Rep. Oren Lesmeister, D-Parade, said many modern vehicles have an automatic headlight feature. He said the current law is acceptable.
Rep. Michael Clark, R-Hartford, spoke against it.
"It's almost a bill that doesn't accomplish anything. It's all well-intentioned," Clark said.
Rep. Drew Dennert, R-Aberdeen, also opposed its passage.
"I agree with the current statute," Dennert said.