Why do cars have parking lights?

  eikonuj 21:07 08 Sep 2009

or sidelights, whatever you wish call them.
Too many people drive with sidelights on and presume you can see them similar to dimmed headlights. One purpose of lights is so others can see you.
People rarely use these dim lights for parking, there is a case for only having headlights,dimmed or main beam - properly adjusted of course.
I have just narrowly missed a car with sidelights on in a dark country lane........maybe the driver was trying to hide.
Rant over......

  peter99co 21:11 08 Sep 2009

I use mine and have a facility to turn on one side only by operating the indicator switch to which side I want on.

  the hick 21:39 08 Sep 2009

I think you used to need parking lights if parked on a bus-route, but some while since I read the Highway Code.

  Graham. 22:32 08 Sep 2009

You must show lights if parked on a road with a speed limit above 30 mph.

  Graham. 22:35 08 Sep 2009

I used to find it amusing when Volvo drivers switched on their sidelights in the dark or fog, they're actually dimmer than the driving (running)lights.

  Forum Editor 22:42 08 Sep 2009

for only having headlights,dimmed or main beam..."

Is there - have you spoken to the battery manufacturers about that?

  Graham. 22:44 08 Sep 2009

They seem to manage in Sweden.

  peter99co 23:01 08 Sep 2009

Driving in fog with a dimmer light prevents the glare reflecting back at the driver. Years ago we all had yellow fog lights. Very uncommon now I think.

I think the rules about parking also say you should also face the car in the right direction when the parking lights are on.

If a single light saves a rear end shunt whilst parked then it makes sense to use them. A single light also uses less power from the battery.

My car is 2004 so the manufacturer must be providing a legal option when new. Has the rule changed?

  morddwyd 07:16 09 Sep 2009

"Years ago we all had yellow fog lights. Very uncommon now I think."

No we didn't, only in France.

I think single lights are no longer permitted, lights must, within certain limits, indicate the width of the vehicle.

You used to have to leave your lights on all night if you were parked on any public highway.

I doubt many modern cars have batteries that could cope with that throughout the winter!

Remember the little single bulb red/white lights which you used to clip onto the side window and plug into the cigarette lighter?

  BT 08:21 09 Sep 2009

"Years ago we all had yellow fog lights. Very uncommon now I think.

No we didn't, only in France."

Years ago FOG lights were often yellow.
The French had yellow HEADLIGHTS but were forced to come in line with the rest of the EC and change to white.

Forum Editor

I think eikonuj was referring to driving on headlights not parking. There should be no problem with this, the battery doesn't come into the equation with modern alternators, unlike when we had dynamos when the battery could suffer.

  jack 08:56 09 Sep 2009

It was possible to purchase a single bulb light that had white to front and red to rear to clip to door window and plug the same into the cigar lighter.
Many Many years ago that is ;[email protected]

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