Is it Illegal to Flash Your Bright Lights in Iowa?
We've all been there. It's after sunset and you see another vehicle flash its headlights in your direction. This could mean anything from a speed trap nearby, bad road conditions ahead, or even crashed cars on the roadway ahead.
Sometimes it can be helpful, other times, downright annoying. But the question is: when, if ever, is flashing your headlights legal in the Hawkeye State?
So, What Does The Law in Iowa Say?
2. Prohibited lights. A flashing light on or in a motor vehicle is prohibited except as follows: a. On an authorized emergency vehicle. b. On a vehicle as a means of indicating a right or left turn, a mechanical failure, or an emergency stop or intent to stop. c. On a motor vehicle used by a rural mail carrier when stopping or stopped on or near a highway in the process of delivering mail, if such a light is any shade of color between white and amber and if it is mounted as a dome light on the roof of the vehicle.
So, there you have it. Even if another vehicle has its brights on, you're technically not allowed to flash your brights at it, unless it's an emergency situation.
There are a few other exceptions, which you can find on the Iowa.Gov website.
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This law varies from state to state. For example, in South Dakota, it does not appear to be illegal to flash your brights at another vehicle. In Iowa, it appears that there is also no law preventing you from flashing your headlights, but if your flashing is interfering with the work of law enforcement, it could be enough for them to pull you over.
This is where common sense applies. If you are warning another driver of a potential accident or road hazard, you should be in the clear. If you're doing it out of annoyance or spite, you could be in trouble with law enforcement.
Story Source: Iowa.Gov Website