Fog light rules confused motorist

The in basket: Craig Tompkins of Bremerton writes, “A couple of summers ago, I was pulled over by a Washington State patrolman on a a beautiful moonlit night because (and only because) I had my factory installed (bumper level) fog lamps lit on my newer SUV. 
“I normally always had them on day and night as running lights for better visibility for both me at night and for others to see me during the day. 
“To my surprise, I was informed that having the fog lamps on during anything but ‘inclement or foggy’ weather was illegal and punishable by a $101 fine.


The in basket: Craig Tompkins of Bremerton writes, “A couple of summers ago, I was pulled over by a Washington State patrolman on a a beautiful moonlit night because (and only because) I had my factory installed (bumper level) fog lamps lit on my newer SUV. 
“I normally always had them on day and night as running lights for better visibility for both me at night and for others to see me during the day. 
“To my surprise, I was informed that having the fog lamps on during anything but ‘inclement or foggy’ weather was illegal and punishable by a $101 fine.  The officer was very nice about it and said he wouldn’t give me a ticket this time if I would only use the fog lamps according to the law in the future. 
“I did not know that the use of fog lamps was restricted and obviously from the numerous vehicles I see (which, of course, I now notice) running around with them on, a lot of other people may also be unaware of this law.  It is not referred to in my vehicle owners manual or mentioned by the salesman who sold me the SUV.  I couldn’t find it in the Washington State Drivers Manual that is available at the Department of Motor Vehicles.  However I did check with my brother who is a policeman in Tacoma and he confirmed it was the law……..people just are not that aware of it.” 
These lights have prompted complaints from others who have written the Road Warrior over the past three years, including CJ. Gebhart , Fred Christensen, Marilyn Falk and Kevin Collins.
Kevin thought they could be used only on divided highways with no other cars around, Fred thought they could be used only with the high beams and not within 500 feet of other cars. C.J. and Marilyn just found them annoyingly bright.
The out basket: Despite what Craig has been told by two officers. there is no mention of “inclement or foggy weather” in the regulations on these lights.
The only limitations I can find in the law, other than on the height at which various lamps can be mounted on the front of a vehicle and on the height of the beam they project, is that no more than four lights can shine to the front at any one time and fog lights can be used only with one’s low beams, not the high beams.
I ran this past Trooper Brian George of the Bremerton WSP detachment and Deputy Scott Wilson of Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office and both agreed that those are the rules,
The only instance Brian said he could imagine in which fog lamps and headlights couldn’t be used at the same time would be on an older car with the four-headlight systems in vogue at one time. But all four wouldn’t be burning except on high beams, which would make use of fog lamps illegal both because there’d be more than four beams shining forward, and fog lamps can’t be used with high beams.
The fog lamps on my Mazda 3 go off automatically when I go to high beams. I imagine that’s true of most cars.

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