The Driving Instructors Association (DIA) has put its weight behind the ‘Lightmare’ campaign, which highlights the issue of road users being ‘blinded’ by bright headlights.
Lightmare is the culmination of work from two organisations – Blinded Bi-Xenon and Drivers Against Daylight Running Lights (DaDRL) – on the effects of bright lights on road safety.
Ken Perham, from Blinded Bi-Xenon, is a London taxi driver who has been campaigning about the intensity of the modern ‘high intensity discharge’ (HID) headlight systems. He has teamed up with Roy Milnes, UK coordinator of DaDRL, who has been involved in a worldwide campaign to look at a ‘more common-sense’ way of vehicle lighting for daytime use.
New laws that come into effect in the UK from February 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.
Roy 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.”
Dr Peter Heilig, professor of ophthalmology at the University of Vienna, was instrumental in getting EU legislation on daylight running lights withdrawn in 2006, after Austrian national road safety statistics showed a 12% increase in road casualties upon introduction of mandatory daytime running lights.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.”
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