Blinded by the lights
Daytime running lights a risk for cyclists and pedestrians - as we find out the hard way
The DIA and Lightmare's argument is that by forcing cars to use DLRs (EU law says all new cars must have them by next month) cyclists, pedestrians and motorbikes are made less obvious and put at greater risk.
While some of Lightmare's rhetoric is a tad exciteable, two experiences this week suggest they might have a point. The first was as a driver, waiting at a give way at a busy intersection just near the office. I made to pull away but something made me look again at the single pin prick of light amid the traffic - yup, a cyclist. Even though he had a very powerful light he was still hard to spot among the clutter of car and street lights around.The tables were turned just a couple of days later. I was the cyclist this time, a minibus pulling out from a give way directly into my path. I saw it coming and was able to avoid a collision, making glancing contact with the driver's door. The window came down and I got the classic "sorry mate, I didn't see you" (see the CTC's 'Stop SMIDSY' campaign for more) after which a full and frank discussion about the merits of stopping and looking at give way lines was had. I say discussion. It was a bit more one-sided than that.
Anyway, dangerous or not I find the ostenatious DLRs many cars now come with simply a bit pretentious and whenever I get a press car with them fitted delve into the set-up menus and try and find a way of switching them off. Go on, do the same. Nobody wants a living LIGHTMARE!
Driving Instructors Association
The DIA press release in full:
Driving Instructors Association supports Lightmare campaign
The Driving Instructors Association (DIA) is putting its weight behind the Lightmare campaign, which has been organised to fight the growing road safety issue of blinding lights affecting a driver's ability to perceive hazards. The campaign's website has just been launched at www.lightmare.org.
The amalgamation of two separate organisations - Blinded Bi-Xenon and Drivers Against Daylight Running Lights (DaDRL) - Lightmare is the culmination of many years of work from both organisations on the effects of bright lights on road safety.
Ken Perham, a night-time London taxi driver for the last 40 years, has been campaigning about the intensity of the modern ‘high intensity discharge' (HID) headlight system. The technology involves the headlights to ‘float' and respond to the undulations in the road surface. As this system cannot be checked sufficiently during an MOT test, vehicles fitted with it can dazzle oncoming road users, in contravention of the Construction and Use Regulations 1986 and the Road Vehicle Lighting Regulations 1989.
Perham said: "These lights are up to three times brighter than a standard halogen headlight and the HID system causes severe distraction to a driver approaching them, to the point that the intensity of these lights hides less conspicuous objects, such as motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians, putting these vulnerable groups in danger. This situation must be considered as an urgent matter to be redressed by the government."
Perham has teamed up with Roy Milnes, who has been at the helm of DaDRL for the last 12 years. He has been involved in a worldwide campaign involving other organisations and ophthalmologists to look at a more common-sense way of vehicle lighting for daytime use. New laws that come into effect in the UK from Feb 2011 mean that daytime running lights - which are 50% brighter than standard dipped headlights - will be mandatory for all new European-built vehicles. Motorcycle and bicycle action groups are concerned that the proliferation of lit traffic streams will make less visible cyclists and motorcyclists more vulnerable within those streams.
Milnes said: "Car drivers are already overprotected in their vehicles, thanks to safety cages and in-vehicle technology. Cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians don't have this luxury."
Milnes has worked extensively with Dr Peter Heilig, professor of ophthalmology at the University of Vienna, who was instrumental in getting the EU legislation on daylight running lights withdrawn in 2006, after the Austrian national road safety statistics showed a 12% increase in road casualties upon introduction of mandatory daytime running lights.
Howard Redwood, head of road safety at the DIA, said: "Lightmare has collected a staggering amount of data and produced a very strong case to persuade the UK government to reconsider the current MOT system and the need for daytime running lights. The DIA are more than happy to get behind this campaign."
More information and a petition calling on the government to eliminate daytime and night-time blinding vehicle lamps can be found on the Lightmare website at www.lightmare.org.
Here my question... Are the HID lights those lights that you notice in your rear view mirror that blind you for the length of time it takes the car with HID lights to overtake ...Theres no point in trying to out run it as you cant see coz you have been blinded by the reflection in every mirror that you car has - Is this a fair assumption?? Or is it just badly aligned lights .
If the HID lights are what i have descibed above then i have a dilema, a) join the blinding brigade b) just get the angle eyes and leave my default lights in?
Oh yes, whats best bet for angle eyes, to get the whole headlight units with angel eyes pre-installed or just get the CCFL kit and get somebody to fit it? Is there a thread here that shows how to fit them or where best to bye them. I see alot of ebay but they seem to be for the 98-01 models of the e46 saloon.
On the road with the landmark Lambos for special golden anniversary drive.
Date 13/05/13, Duration 4:26, Views 9350
Which of these endangered 1970s and 80s cars would you be saddest to see become extinct?
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- Austin Allegro
- Austin Maxi
- Austin Montego
- Austin Princess
- Hillman Avenger
- Morris Marina
- Morris Ital
- Vauxhall Viva