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E-M:/ Colored Headlight Covers Prohibited for Snowmobiles



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Enviro-Mich message from "Richard Morscheck" <morscher@michigan.gov>
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, 27 JAN 05
Contact: Lt. Creig Grey, 517-335-3414

Colored Headlight Covers Prohibited for Snowmobiles

Michigan Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement officials
today reminded Michigan's snowmobilers that the use of a colored
headlight cover on a snowmobile is prohibited. The law banning the use
of these covers took effect in March 2004.

"These covers often come in a variety of colors, with red and blue
being the most popular, as well as colors that complement the
manufacturer's color schemes and graphics," said Lt. Creig Grey with the
DNR Law Enforcement Division's snowmobile program.

Visibility while operating a snowmobile is critical. Overdriving the
headlight at night happens when speed increases or blowing snow becomes
a factor. The colored headlight cover further reduces the effectiveness
of the machine's lighting systems, Grey said.

"The red or blue lenses are a real problem," Grey said. "The red light
looks like a taillight in front of you when it's really the headlight of
a machine coming at you. Imagine this happening on a trail or worse yet
on a public road involving passenger cars or larger trucks."
 
Under certain conditions, these colors also appear to be a flashing red
or blue light, which can lead snowmobile drivers to believe what they
are seeing is a law enforcement vehicle or an emergency vehicle. 
"Snowmobilers often will panic to let the supposed emergency unit go by
and something bad can happen," Grey said.

For more information on snowmobile safety, contact the DNR Law
Enforcement Division at 517-373-1230, or visit the DNR Web site at
www.michigan.gov/dnr. Click on Recreation and Camping and then select
Snowmobiling.

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