Flashing Your High Beams

By Ronak Shah
flashing high beams

There is often confusion around the laws regarding flashing your high beams.

High beams can serve a wide variety of purposes and can help increase visibility in a variety of different circumstances. But what are laws are in place for flashing your high beams?

We know high beams are a requirement whenever driving at night in low visibility areas. Their purpose is for drivers to see further and prevent accidents, even during the day they can help increase visibility. However, the high beams are supposed to be used sparingly and their use can be illegal in certain instances.

High beams are a requirement when driving between sunset and sunrise, or when visibility is reduced to less than 100m, whether it be the dark, fog, rain smoke or other heavy weather.

An unwritten use is flashing your high beams to warn other motorists about an impending police presence and mobile speed cameras. What a lot of drivers may not realise though, is flashing your high beams in this manner is illegal, but not for the reason you might think.

High beams can temporarily blind other drivers and potentially cause accidents. This is why police don’t specifically charge you for warning other drivers about the impending speed trap, random breath tests or mobile speed cameras. The penalty is for unsafe driving practices and they vary from state to state.

Penalties for flashing your high beams start at $45 and one demerit point and go all the way up to $455.01 with three demerit points in Victoria. Even during the day, the law still applies.

The law states that drivers cannot flash high beams when there is an oncoming car 200m in front of a vehicle, or when a vehicle is within 200m behind because the high-intensity lighting flashing in the rear-view mirror can distract and disorient drivers. However, it’s worth noting there are exceptions, such as a brief flash to signal when you intend to overtake another car.

Regardless of the legality of flashing your high beams, we encourage drivers to always engage in low-risk driver behaviours that are safe for everyone on the road and avoid the unnecessary use of high-intensity high beams or face the consequences and monetary fines.

If you would like to find out more about our low risk driver training, contact Corporate Driver Training on 1800 757 615, or via our website.

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