Let there be light all the time?

  TopCat® 18:18 25 Feb 2008

Did anyone catch the radio announcement made earlier today that the EC was considering a new safety directive ensuring all new (?) vehicles have headlights on when in motion? Like the Volvo cars of today. I only caught the tail end of it but I think it was to be discussed on the Jeremy Vine programme around lunchtime. I unfortunately missed that too.

Can anyone fill me in on the details, please? TC.

  GANDALF <|:-)> 18:23 25 Feb 2008

I have driven with my headlights on for over fifteen years. Much safer especially on bright, sunny days when there are a lot of deep shadows.


  Forum Editor 18:31 25 Feb 2008

with sidelights on, and I've noticed that in London lots of people do the same.

Years ago I drove a Volvo estate, and got used to other people flashing their lights at me.

  TopCat® 18:51 25 Feb 2008

Hmmm, I would have thought, in heavier traffic, all these extra headlights on would tend to mask the road position of our motorcyclists, especially in poorer daylight weather conditions. It's also a sorry fact of life that many drivers today fail to switch on any lights when visibility deteriorates, and are an absolute menace.

I'd much rather see installed a completely separate, fully sealed and tamperproof automatic photocell type circuit that powered on all the vehicle's road lights when conditions warranted it. Just my opinion, of course. TC.

  Quickbeam 19:10 25 Feb 2008

It's the mumbskulls that don't put them on when they're needed that bring about this sort of legislation.

Automatic headlights are an option or more cars now, so your idea of the sealed system is a good way forward.

The other ones that don't use lights are the old codgers that were taught 40 or more years ago that 'side lights' are for driving in a built up areas. In todays traffic they are better described as 'parking lights'. A simple rewiring should make it that if the engine is running, and the parking lights are on, the headlights come on.

  Forum Editor 19:10 25 Feb 2008

with an automatically activated system would be that lights would be switching on and off as lighting levels rose and fell. They may switch off when you entered a brightly-lit tunnel, for instance.

I'm all for having ignition-activated running lights, but that's it - I wouldn't want all road lights to be automatically switched.

  amonra 19:57 25 Feb 2008

Has anyone ever tried to calculate the extra fuel being burnt whilst all these cars drive around with at least 100 watts of energy being wasted ?
Must make a large contribution to global warming.

  Pine Man 20:12 25 Feb 2008

Good point - I'll keep the lights off but the A/C on!

  TopCat® 21:12 25 Feb 2008

I have in mind would be designed and programmed, in conjuction with the vehicle's management system computer, to only operate with a gradually changing light intensity, such as comes about at dawn or dusk. A sudden increase in intensity such as a tunnel you speak of should not affect it, as the main lighting circuits would be energised from the time the cell first activated. The reverse would of course happen when the cell switched off, leaving the normal driver's lighting switch to be used, should there be any problem. TC.

  interzone55 21:26 25 Feb 2008

On a separate point, how about a system banning the use of fog lights except when it's actually foggy.

It really annoys me seeing kids driving round with all their lights on, including the interior lights sometimes so everyone can see them (but they can't see out, nice), but these same idiots drive around in fog with no lights on!

  Jim Thing 21:29 25 Feb 2008

"Years ago I drove a Volvo estate, and got used to other people flashing their lights at me."

When Volvos with permanent running lights were first introduced, auto accessory shops sold full-width stick-on windshield visors with the printed message "I know my lights are on."

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