Overwhelming support for ban on “blinding” headlamps
Three quarters of British motorists want powerful headlamps banned from the road, according to a user poll by motoring.co.uk.
An overwhelming number of drivers answered “yes” to the poll question: “Should powerful headlamps be banned?”
Of the 2,524 people who took part in the poll, 76% (1,937) said “yes”, with 24% (587) saying “no”.
The poll ran as part of our exclusive story about a campaign group which is taking its fight against “blinding” headlamps to the United States in a “rear-guard” action against European legislators.
The Lightmare.org campaign group is to launch an e-petition on the Change.org website calling for high-powered headlamps to be banned from the roads in California.
They hope that a change in legislation in California could prompt manufacturers to end what has been described as an attempt to “out-shine” each other with increasingly brighter headlamps.
Lightmare.org’s Roy Milne says that a ruling by California legislators could force the hand of European lawmakers and encourage manufacturers to curb the introduction of increasingly bright headlamps worldwide.
The petition urges the governor of California to investigate potential links between powerful headlamps and cyclist deaths which dramatically soared by 23% in 2012.
Terry Hogan, co-founder of motoring.co.uk, said: “This is a clearly an issue of great concern to a large number of the motorists who visit our websites.
“While we support the spirit of innovation that is making modern cars increasingly safe and efficient, our poll serves as a reminder that manufacturers must consider the interests of all road users when introducing new products.
“We welcome any measure designed to improve road safety but not if it is used to the detriment of other road users.
“Our users clearly think that manufacturers should take concerns about increasingly powerful headlamps more seriously.”
Call for a ban
Originally fitted to more expensive vehicles, High-Intensity Discharge lights are now becoming more commonplace.
While there are clear benefits for motorists whose cars are fitted with HiD or Bi-Xenon lights, even those who have them fitted to their own cars say that they can be dazzled by them when approaching vehicles which also use them.
Manufacturers are now starting to trial laser-powered headlamps, prompting concerns that headlamps are going to get even brighter.
Lightmare.org is a worldwide organisation backed by volunteers campaigning for an end to the use of increasingly high powered lighting on motor vehicles.
Users of the motoring.co.uk site said that badly adjusted powerful headlamps and aftermarket headlamps fitted inappropriately could be to blame for some concerns about powerful headlamps.
Others said ineffective and non-existent road markings on British roads meant that powerful headlamps were essential.
Some contributors to the debate said that technological advances such as “night-time driving glasses” and “polarised windscreen glass” could play a part in alleviating the problem of being dazzled on the road by Bi-xenon headlamps.
Lightmare.org claim that powerful headlamps could contravene the Highway Code, which states that drivers MUST NOT use any lights in a way that would dazzle or cause discomfort to other road users, including pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders.
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders has previously said that there is no evidence that high power lights distract drivers.
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