July 16, 2018

New state law will prohibit use of light bar devices on roads

On July 13, 2017, NC Gov. Roy Cooper signed Senate Bill 182: An act to prohibit the use of light bar lighting devices on a motor vehicle while the motor vehicle is being driven on the highways of this state.

Motorists will soon be outside the law if they are operating LED light bars while driving on public roadways.

Gov. Roy Cooper signed Senate Bill 182 into law on July 13, 2017. It is “An act to prohibit the use of light bar lighting devices on a motor vehicle while the motor vehicle is being driven on the highways of this state.”

The bill language states that “no person shall drive a motor vehicle on the highways of this State while using a light bar lighting device. This subsection does not apply to or otherwise restrict use of a light bar lighting device with strobing lights. For purposes of this subsection, the term ‘light bar lighting device’ means a bar-shaped lighting device comprised of multiple lamps capable of projecting a beam of light at an intensity greater than [25 candlepower].”

The law will go into effect on October 1, 2017.


  1. Matthew Bennett on November 30, 2017 at 5:54 am

    Please define ” highway”
    Is that to include deer infested back roads with low traffic? And poorly lit inner city roads with small children often running out into the street?
    And the measurement in ” candlepower”, modern LED is measured in “lumens” or wattage. Candlepower is for Wal-Mart flashlights.

  2. Robert Kim on December 15, 2017 at 11:52 am

    These lights are blinding! That’s the bottom line! There are too many people who use high beams all the time without regard for other drivers visibility. But, these light bars actually force you to squint or look away! That’s potentially a deadly involuntary reaction!

  3. Richard Chandler on December 17, 2017 at 12:20 am

    They will be imposing heavy fines for these lights. They are for off road use only. Highways,City Streets & Rural Roads fall under House Bill 182 under NC General Statutes.

  4. Bryan griffin on January 29, 2018 at 10:04 pm

    I have a light bar on my truck and run it on back roads with little to no road lights, I love it, light bars have saved me from deer, cows and people who are in the road, yes they are blinding but I turn it off when passing or following a car I think it is wrong to making them illegal, maybe illegal to have a very big one like 50 inches but a 12 inch isn’t going to hurt no one

    • J.Moody on February 23, 2018 at 8:51 pm

      I agree man i got a little one on my truck because my headlights arent bright

      • Joe on March 13, 2018 at 10:03 pm

        I love them too! ( i even went on to put a 20 in. Light bar on my 2008 ford focus) But yes, they are blinding! Here in el paso texas ppl are buying led headlights too!And i do not enjoy that these things make me feel annoyed because i keep thinking everyone has their brights on.

  5. Mason on February 25, 2018 at 2:25 am

    I have a 52 in light bar and a 42 in on my truck with 2 light pods and I run in on the roads and turn it off when I see a car or following a car it’s saved me from hitting deers dogs just about anything I don’t think they should put a law on them

  6. Francesca J Darnall on April 11, 2018 at 12:23 pm

    Those of you who don’t want the law and say you turn yours off for courtesy is all well and good but you represent the .01% of ppl who have them and have consideration for the effect on other drivers. Ive seen the little ones that aren’t so bad but my neighbor’s son has a big one he says he has to use cuz his headlights face down at the road and he can’t see ahead rather than adjust his headlights up to shine ahead. Everytime he comes up over a dip at night you get blinded so bad you can’t hardly see a thing but a big bright line for a mile or 2. My truck has regular well adjusted headlights and I live in the country (14yrs) and have yet to hit a possum let alone a dog or a deer. Maybe need to not speed at night during the migrating/mating season!

  7. Cathy on May 23, 2018 at 10:39 pm

    Do you think this could blind a driver coming around a curve and force them off the road?

  8. Timothy on June 24, 2018 at 8:38 pm

    I have two little 4 inch light bars that are about the size of my fog lights that I want to put on my truck does anybody know if I can run them on road or do I have to shut them off while on the road

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