COLUMBUS, Ohio (Nov. 19, 2013) — The Ohio Senate Transportation Committee has approved a Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Action Network (SAN) amendment to legislation governing vehicle headlamps in the state.
SEMA said the bill (S.B. 161) originally required headlights on motor vehicles to display a "white light" —without defining the term. The amendment offered by SAN makes the legislation conform to U.S. Department of Transportation standards regarding headlamp color for all headlamps destined for on-road use. The Senate Transportation Committee was scheduled to take a final vote on the bill today, Nov. 19.
Diamond Bar, Calif.-based SEMA urged its members to contact the Ohio Senate Transportation Committee to support the amended S.B. 161, which would mandate that:
• All headlamps are required to comply with the color requirements contained in the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. It is illegal for a state to enact a law that would conflict with a federal standard, SEMA pointed out.
• Under the federal standards, it is possible to design a headlamp that can be perceived as having a blue tint but which nevertheless remains within the federal boundaries that define "white."
• The original S.B. 161 seemed to be targeting illegal high-intensity discharge (HID) conversion kits, which are already illegal under federal law. However, according to SEMA, the original bill could have even banned factory-installed HID headlamps which emit a blue hue.