It's been in effect since July, but many drivers don't know a new state law requires motorists to turn on their vehicle's headlights when the windshield wipers are in use.

It's been in effect since July, but many drivers don't know a new state law requires motorists to turn on their vehicle's headlights when the windshield wipers are in use.

"Although it is a minor misdemeanor, violators could pay up to a $150 fine," the Powell Police Department Web site says, noting motorists would not receive points on their licenses if cited.

"It is a secondary violation. You can't be pulled over for it, like with the seat belt violation, but if you're pulled over for speeding or some other violation you can be cited for not having them on," said Steve Hrytzik, Powell deputy chief.

The statewide law is designed to increase visibility during inclement weather.

"It's basically to remind people that whenever there is inclement weather and you have to have your windshield wipers on, you also have to have your headlights on because if the weather is bad people might not be able to see you. And the headlights also increase your visibility," Hrytzik said.

Sgt. Ray Durant of the Ohio State Highway Patrol said, "You want to be able to see in front of you and have people see you. Both headlights give you 500 to 1,000 feet of visibility."

Durant said some people have complained about the new law, and he wanted people to remember that, "Police officers don't write the laws. The legislators do" and the police "enforce what the legislators put out."

That said, he said it is a good law.

"The highway patrol is all for enforcing a good law, and I think it's a good law because anything that is going to prevent crashes, increase visibility and have people driving in better situations, we'll be all for," Durant said.