Motorists see the light
Bylaw cracks down on daytime driving light offenders

by Jennifer Pritchett
Northern News Services

NNSL (Feb 21/97) - City bylaw is getting tough with motorists who don't turn their lights on. Constables have issued more than 300 warnings over the last three months.

Larry Weber, supervisory constable with Yellowknife Municipal Enforcement, said more charges will be laid against motorists in the future.

"For the last three months, we've been on a bit of a campaign to educate people because they just don't seem to be catching on," said Webber.

The territorial legislation, in effect since June 1, 1996, requires motorists to drive with their headlights or daytime running lights on.

Many motorists, like Gordon Thomson, know about the legislation. But what they aren't aware of is the more than $50 penalty that goes along with non-compliance.

"But I think the fine is a good standard to have."

Statistics have shown that driving with lights on during the day helps prevent accidents. Enforced in Saskatchewan, Alberta and other provinces for several years, the legislation is being adopted across the country.

Enforcing the new regulation has been difficult, said Webber, because drivers of older model vehicles must manually turn the lights on.

"For this reason, we've given a lot of leeway to Yellowknife's motoring public."

Nevertheless, Weber said that at this point there is no excuse for motorists not to be turning on their lights.

Garages around the city can install daytime running lights, however a cheaper option is getting a mechanic to install a switch kit that can run anywhere from $78 to $168.

Despite the costs, Weber said that people have to start taking responsibility for their vehicles -- or else they'll be hit with a $58 ticket.