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Fog light use 101

Very few people seem to be educated on the use of fog lights, and there does not appear to be any enforcement of the illegal use by local law enforcement officers.

Although the Oregon Department of Transportation has published a news release on the legal use of fog lights, there seems to be very few local newspapers that have published it.

I'd like to see a push toward educating people on the proper use and enforcement.

- Sue Martin, St. Helens

[Editor's note: We, too, have observed a lot of motorists who incorrectly use fog lights, typically in the absence of any fog. Fog lights are not a vehicular fashion statement, and just because your car, truck or SUV is fog light-equiped doesn't offer an excuse to blind oncoming traffic. Who drives around blaring their horn all the time, anyway? There are appropriate and inappropriate occasions for fog-light use.

Here is a quick rundown on the Oregon rules regarding fog lights:

• Fog lights are designed to be used at low speeds in fog, heavy mist, snow and other situations where visibility is significantly reduced. After sunset and during other low-visibility situations, fog lights are required to be turned off when an oncoming vehicle approaches. During normal visibility conditions, fog or auxiliary lights should be turned off.

• According to Oregon law, fog and/or auxiliary lights must be used like the high beam headlight system of your car. They must be turned off when within 500 feet of an oncoming vehicle and within 350 feet when following another vehicle. The color of fog and/or auxiliary lights is also regulated. Fog lights may be either white or amber (yellow). Rules prohibit other colors, such as blue.]