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Grace period to end Friday for windshield wiper, headlight law

Beginning Friday, Ohio residents can expect a citation if they are pulled over and found to be using their windshield wipers without having their headlights on. The beginning of the year marks the end of a six-month grace period for a state law requiring motorists to turn on their headlights when they use their windshield wipers.

The law went into effect July 1, 2009. Until this week, officers had been issuing warnings to drivers. Beginning January 1, 2010, drivers caught violating the law will be issued tickets.

The offense is secondary, which means that officers will not pull someone over for it, but will instead enforce it when they pull someone over for another offense such as speeding.

Fines for the citation vary from court system to court system Sgt. Raymond Durant of the Ohio State Highway Patrol said. Durant said he has seen fines ranging from $100-150.

With the New Year quickly approaching, Durant urged drivers to be safe in their celebrating.

“(We’ll have) pretty much the same enforcement,” Durant said. “Our officers will be out looking to take impaired drivers off the road.”