Don’t forget to check your safety lights

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, June 20, 2018

It’s been almost three years since the governor of Mississippi signed a bill into law doing away with a mandatory inspection that ensured all vehicles in the state had working safety equipment.

Bulbs that power brake lights, turn signals and headlights are often neglected, and now that the law does not mandate that vehicles are inspected, that problem will inevitably become more prevalent.

But these safety systems were installed on all street legal vehicles for a reason.

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Now that there is no regulation mandating drivers to have their vehicle’s lights inspected, it will become more common to find vehicles with faulty brake lights, burned out blinkers and vehicles with only one operating headlight.

So, the responsibility to ensure those bulbs are in working order falls on us drivers.

Checking to see if the lights on your vehicle work is easy. You can either enlist the help of a friend, or try to see the reflection of your bulbs in the bumper of the vehicle in front or behind you when the sun is down.

The process to replace blown bulbs varies by vehicle. If you don’t have a repair manual for your make and model, a quick search on the Internet will provide the answer.

For the most part, bulbs can be replaced without the need for tools. However, if a tool is needed, it will usually be nothing more than a screwdriver to remove the headlight housing or brake light assembly.

At times a bulb may not be working because of a blown fuse.

If you suspect that is the case, check your owner’s manual to determine the location of the fuse panel and which fuse powers the particular light that is not working.

While it’s nice to not have to worry about getting a ticket for an expired inspection sticker, it has led to a lackadaisical attitude to the safety equipment on our vehicles.

But that can be rectified by checking the lights on your vehicle when you do other maintenance, such as an oil change or tune up.