Drivers cruising the Haines Highway are now required to keep their headlights on at all times.

In early July, the Alaska Department of Transportation installed six “Headlights On At All Times” signs along the Haines Highway from the Canadian Border to town, said Haines DOT foreman Matt Boron.

Motorists are now required to use their headlights while driving from the U.S. Customs station at Mile 39.5 to Mile .8 in town, regardless of the weather conditions or time of day.

DOT spokesperson Jeremy Woodrow said the agency installed the signs as a safety measure to reduce accidents.

“The ‘Headlights On At All Times’ signs aim to reduce the risk of daytime collisions by making vehicles more noticeable to oncoming traffic, pedestrians and bicyclists,” Woodrow said in a press release.

Alaska Wildlife Trooper Ken VanSpronsen said he hasn’t yet warned or cited anyone for driving without their headlights on.

“It’s been proven by studies to make a difference,” VanSpronsen said of the headlight requirement. “It’s the same concept as wearing your seatbelt.”

VanSpronsen said he would begin warning people “if it becomes a problem.” “Most modern cars have automatic daytime running lights, and those count. It’s the older vehicles you have to turn the lights on (manually),” he said.

Highway resident Kyle Ponsford, who has lived at 34 Mile for 25 years, said the new headlight requirement was unnecessary,

“I have never heard of a single car accident that occurred because a car didn’t have its lights on during the day. As a law-abiding citizen, I intend to obey the laws that the voters tolerate, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t think such rules are subversively socialist and un-American. I do,” Ponsford said.

Becky Hunt, who lives at 26 Mile and has commuted to town for 18 years, said she was surprised to see the new signs. “I’ve always thought it was the law anyway, so when I saw the signs I thought it was a good reminder.”

“I think we should ride with our headlights on to be visible. We get a lot of different conditions and I just think it’s a good rule to live by for people on the highway,” Hunt added.

Signs also will be installed on six other Southeast highways, including portions of Juneau’s Glacier Highway, Ketchikan’s North Tongass Highway, Prince of Wales Island’s Klawock Hollis Highway, Petersburg’s Mitkof Highway, Sitka’s Halibut Point Road and Wrangell’s Zimovia Highway.