There cant be any of us, irrespective of it we are walking, riding a cycle, a motorcycle or driving a car, that hasn’t been dazzled by a driver coming towards us with completely unreasonable and unnecessarily bright headlights.
OK, its only momentarily, but it only takes a moment to have an accident and these HID (high intensity discharge) headlights and Bi-Xenon lights can be up to three times brighter than a conventional halogen headlamp, causing drivers to be distracted by the oncoming vehicle as the intensity of its lights hides less conspicuous things such as pedestrians, cyclists and motor cyclists, and this clearly puts those groups of people in danger.
Causing an oncoming motorist to be dazzled is in contravention of the Construction and Use Regulations 1986 and the Road Vehicle Lighting Regulations 1989, but clearly
We are happy to introduce masses of rules and regulations to keep us safe, but its clear that we only act on the ones that suit us, as something as potentially dangerous and as obvious as this, seems still to be ignored by the authorities and in fact, many manufacturers are even fitting these bright lights as standard, or at least offering them as an optional extra. It’s not a problem simply restricted to new cars either, as boy racers everywhere are changing their light bulbs to make their “motors look a bit flash”.
Seems to me that we don’t need these super bright lights and surely, if you can’t drive at night without that intensity of light, that you probably shouldn’t be driving at all, or at the very least, not until you’ve been checked out by an optician?
Whilst on the subject of lights, what do you all think about ‘daytime running lights’? We’ve all seen them, Volvo have had them for years. Well, from February 2011 (that’s now), our pals in Europe now they’ve finished straightening our Bananas and telling us how much meat should be in our sausage, have instructed that all new European built vehicles should be fitted with ‘daytime running lights’ as standard.
OK, on the face of it, nothing wrong here, but these lights are going to be 50% brighter than standard dipped headlights and the worry is that its going to be more difficult to spot a motorcycle, because presently, with the exception of the odd car, its motorcycles that mainly run lights during the day in an effort to make sure they get seen by drivers and of course pedestrians. The fear is that there will be an increase in accidents involving motorcyclists and whilst obviously, no one knows for sure yet, certainly the Austrian national road safety statistics saw a 12% increase in road causalities in general when it introduced daytime running lights, so that’s not a good omen.
There are protest groups fighting against the implementation of theses daytime lights and there is something called the “Lightmare Campaign” which comprises “Drivers Against Daytime Running Lights” or DaDRL as they like to be called and another protest group called “Blinded Bi-Xenon” and they have been researching the effects of bright lights on road safety for many years and are supported by the ‘Driving Instructors Association’ (DIA) and this all sounds pretty reputable to me.
Yet clearly (that’s not a pun) their work has been overlooked as the European juggernaut of legislation has again trundled over the channel loaded with more rules for us, but lets hope that the people in these organisations can make our government departments “see daylight” and at the very least and take a fresh look at this potentially dangerous issue.