ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Hazard lights have been an important part of driver safety since 1951, letting other drivers know of a potential emergency. However, many people might also use them to park for short amounts of time. The question is, are they legally allowed to?
The short answer is no. Using hazard lights to park for a short bit is still considered illegally parking, according to Thomas Law Offices, a legal firm in Chicago. They said that hazard lights are intended to let other drivers know of potential emergencies, not a lack of a parking space. Doing so could still lead to a ticket.
In addition to using hazards for parking, there are other hazard rules that Illinois residents should be aware of. Illinois law says that “flashing lights are prohibited on motor vehicles except as expressly authorized in this chapter or as a means for indicating a right or left turn, lane change, or a maneuver of a vehicle from a direct course of travel.” In shorter terms, Illinois law prohibits driving with hazard lights on.
An exception to this is when driving in a funeral procession.
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Of course, hazard lights are intended to signal emergencies, so drivers might think that they should use them when it is raining out or if traffic suddenly becomes heavy. However, both of these are also frowned upon.
Using hazards when it is raining creates additional glare from falling rain drops, making it more difficult for both you and other drivers to see the road.
As for using them in traffic, Thomas Law said that drivers are “responsible for constantly scanning the road in front, next to, and behind them.” Being in heavy traffic is something that drivers can easily see with their own eyes, so it is not an emergency for them.
Illinois drivers should not feel the need to turn their hazards on if there is not an emergency, even if other drivers around them do.
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