2020 Georgia Code
Title 40 - Motor Vehicles and Traffic
Chapter 8 - Equipment and Inspection of Motor Vehicles
Article 1 - Equipment Generally
Part 2 - Lighting Equipment
§ 40-8-22. Headlights

Universal Citation: GA Code § 40-8-22 (2020)
  1. Every motor vehicle other than a motorcycle or motor driven cycle shall be equipped with at least two but not more than four headlights, with at least one on each side of the front of the motor vehicle, which headlights shall comply with the requirements and limitations set forth in this article.
  2. Every motorcycle and every motor driven cycle shall be equipped with at least one and not more than two headlights, which shall comply with the requirements and limitations of this article.
  3. Every headlight upon every motor vehicle, including every motorcycle and motor driven cycle, shall be located at a height measured from the center of the headlight of not more than 54 inches nor less than 24 inches, to be measured as set forth in subsection (b) of Code Section 40-8-21.
  4. The headlights required by this Code section shall be maintained in proper working condition and shall not be covered by any type of material, provided that the covering restriction shall not apply to any vehicle on which the original factory headlights were covered.
  5. It shall be unlawful to operate a motor vehicle unless such motor vehicle is equipped with aiming pads on each headlight.

(Ga. L. 1953, Nov.-Dec. Sess., p. 556, § 105; Ga. L. 1957, p. 616, § 1; Code 1933, § 68E-203, enacted by Ga. L. 1982, p. 165, § 4; Code 1981, §40-8-22, enacted by Ga. L. 1982, p. 165, § 10; Ga. L. 1992, p. 2785, § 26.)

Code Commission notes.

- Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 1991, "motor driven" was substituted for "motor-driven" in subsections (a), (b), and (c).


Jury instructions.

- Since the defendant specifically requested a jury instruction at a trial on maintaining headlights in proper working order, the defendant specifically waived the right on appeal to enumerate that request as error. Keller v. State, 271 Ga. App. 79, 608 S.E.2d 697 (2004).

When a driver collided with a second driver's stalled truck, it was error for the trial court to instruct the jury on negligence per se in relation to O.C.G.A. § 40-6-202 as the charge was not supported by the evidence; the highway was in a rural area, the second driver had not been driving without lights, but lost illumination when the vehicle's engine failed, and there was no evidence that the second driver "parked" the truck, but that the truck came to a stop of the truck's own volition. White v. Scott, 284 Ga. App. 87, 643 S.E.2d 356 (2007).

Sentence improper for violation.

- Following the defendant's conviction of misdemeanor offenses of driving under the influence - less safe (O.C.G.A. § 40-6-391(a)(1)) and operating a motor vehicle with defective or no headlights (O.C.G.A. § 40-8-22), the defendant's sentence of consecutive terms of 12 months' imprisonment, for a total sentence of 24 months, to be served day-for-day, and to be served on probation if the defendant was released before the end of the term, was error because it usurped the authority of the custodian of a county inmate under O.C.G.A. § 42-4-7(b) to grant earned-time allowances. Evans v. State, 349 Ga. App. 712, 824 S.E.2d 708 (2019).

Cited in Fields v. Jackson, 102 Ga. App. 117, 115 S.E.2d 877 (1960); State v. Hammang, 249 Ga. App. 811, 549 S.E.2d 440 (2001).


More than two headlights on a vehicle.

- It was anticipated by the legislature in Ga. L. 1953, Nov.-Dec. Sess., p. 556, § 105 (see now O.C.G.A. § 40-8-22) that motor vehicles could be equipped with more than two headlamps (now headlights). 1954-56 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 469.


Am. Jur. 2d.

- 7A Am. Jur. 2d, Automobiles and Highway Traffic, §§ 205, 207.

Defective or Improperly Operated Headlights, 22 POF2d 173.


- 60 C.J.S., Motor Vehicles, § 43 et seq. 60A C.J.S., Motor Vehicles, § 630 et seq.


- Validity and construction of regulations as to automobile lights, 78 A.L.R. 815.

Liability or recovery in automobile negligence action arising out of collision or upset as affected by operation of vehicle without front lights, or with improper front lights, 62 A.L.R.3d 560.

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