- also see Ophthalmological reports in
is one portion of the electromagnetic spectrum ranging from radio
waves with wavelengths of a meter or more, down to x-rays with
wavelengths of less than a billionth of a meter. Optical radiation
lies between radio waves and x-rays on the spectrum, exhibiting a
unique mix of ray, wave, and quantum properties. At x-ray and
shorter wavelengths, the electromagnetic radiation tends to be quite
particle like in its behaviour, whereas toward the long wavelength
end of the spectrum the behaviour is mostly wavelike.
White light is
a form of radiation ranging from infra red with a wavelength of 770
nanometres to ultraviolet with a wavelength of 380 nanometres. Beams
from a motorcar headlamp directly focus this radiation into other
driver’s eyes, even indirectly when dipped, the reflector is
visible. The blue end of the spectrum from Tungsten Halogen
lamps and particularly the more glaring Metal Halide Xenon High
Intensity Discharge (HID) lamps can cause “starring” glare and
dazzle severely reducing a driver’s field of vision. "Automotive
HID burners do emit considerable near-UV light, despite the shield"
manufacturers will maintain DRL from dipped beams should not dazzle,
they can cause dynamic glare due to road undulations, speed humps,
acceleration, vehicle loading or headlamp misalignment. HID
headlamps are increasing on vehicles, these emit light radiation in
the more harmful blue/ultra violet end of the spectrum. EU law
requires self levelling mechanisms. but these have insufficient
reaction speed or dip range to cater for rapid vehicle movement thus
adding to glare.
demographic age of the UK's population changes to "grey power",
more, older drivers will be using our roads. These drivers are more
susceptible to glare; many drivers simply do not drive at night.
When all vehicles are forced to use DRL by EU directive, the effect
of daytime glare to this age group will have negative safety
As a person
ages, the incidence of cataracts (in the eye's lens) increases.
This causes increased sensitivity to glare. Unlike the theory behind
proclaimed benefits to DRL and Xenon-HID, the sensitivity of a person with
cataracts to glare is a proven fact. Research shows a percentage of
people who have had laser eye surgery will become more glare
sensitive. As more and more middle-aged and elderly use laser eye
surgery rather than glasses, this danger will grow.
Whilst in the
short term, drivers using DRL may claim less people run into them,
when every one uses DRL or Xenon-HID, the benefit will be negated and our roads
will become more dangerous, particularly for motorcyclist, cyclists
and pedestrians. We see the problem compounded by irresponsible
advertising by motor manufacturers that shows cars with all lights,
including fog lights ablaze in good daylight. This is in
contravention of the UK Highway Code.
Any 'overaccentuation' ie. DRL in a
visual field (especially moving bright stimuli) are
attracting attention. The eye is forced to fixate these
objects thereby distracting attention from less prominent
objects. No 'scientific' study will be able to
disprove these facts.
Change blindness, inattentional
blindness, amnesia, crowding phenomena, multitask
problems, interference of too many inputs worsen the situation
Blinding white LED's used by some Auto manufacturer's
are usually adapted from the eye damaging Blue
Ultraviolet end of the spectrum.
This is why certain manufacturers using ultra bright
LED's will eventually be forced to recall their
models fitted with LED DRL.
Typical White LED spectrum
Chromatic Aberration - Visible Blue and
Ultra Violet Light - Hazard from High
Intensity Discharge headlights
Blue and violet light has
high energy and high phototoxicity causing
temporal summations, increased glare, straylight, reduced
contrast vision and Chromatic Aberration.
Within the eye, there are no blue cones in
the central retinal area, blue rays focus in vitreous body
therefore blue light does not improve central vision.
A Yellow Filter (420 - 450 nm cut off
headlights, streetlights etc.) might improve contrast vision,
reduce glare and straylight.
Critical Intensity: Worst example:
modern headlights: some are too bright at the 'Vorfeld' (area
within 40m in front of the car,) causing adaptative problems and
glare for the drivers. Traffic relevant objects at greater
distance might virtually 'disappear'.
Critical number: Repetitive retinal
light 'stress' could cause transient dysfunction or
de-compensation (prolonged retinal recovery times)
Too many light stimuli simultaneously moving across the visual
fields might cause capacitive de-compensation of cognitive
processing Visual Short Term Memory (VSTM), change blindness,
inattentional blindness, sustained inattentional blindness,
repetitive blindness etc.).
Other distracters like advertising
illuminated signs etc. induce additional over-stimulation and
irritation thereby provoking inadequate reactions of drivers.
Resumé: Stimulus parameters (single
stimuli and/or sum of all different stimuli), quality (e.g.
spectrum), intensity and number must not go beyond the scope of
physiological borders of sensory organs and exceed the limits
and the capacity of cognitive central nervous processing.
Conclusion: avoid over-dosage of
intensity and transgression of the critical number of stimuli,
reduce 'crowding' and distractors in traffic scenarios.
AND TRAFFIC SAFETY
stimuli attract attention. This holds true for Daytime Running
Lights (DRL), especially whenever light stimuli as such are
moving across peripheral areas of the visual field. DRL is
causing improved conspicuity of DRL-vehicles thereby withdrawing
attention from ALL other traffic relevant objects. As
prognosticated - this unwanted and undesirable side-effect of
DRL is causing an increasing number of traffic accidents.
Unfortunately at the cost of 'weaker' traffic participants,
In order to prevent more accidents and fatalities in future any
kind of lighting in bright daylight has to be avoided.
Worldwide. The use of headlights under daylight conditions
appeared to be even more contra-productive than DRL. Glare and
irritations caused by stray light and reflections together with
'overflow' and de-compensation of visual short term memory
intolerably reduce the general traffic safety. Global warming -
as a symptom and a warning - predicts useless and dangerous
waste of energy. Univ. Prof. Dr. Peter
letters from the medical
profession and glare and
distraction reports which warn of the dangers of dazzling
Ophthalmologic Society bans daytime
running lights -
Accentuating one group of 'traffic-relevant objects' makes all
the other objects less conspicuous - worst case - they might
turn into sub-threshold stimuli hence escaping attention - to be
In analogy to the Hippocratic oath some
particularly conscious scientists swear a voluntary oath:
"I promise to work for a better world,
where science and technology are used in socially responsible
ways. I will not use my education for any purpose intended to
harm human beings or the environment. Throughout my career I
will consider the ethical implications of my work before I take
action. While the demands placed upon me may be great, I sign
this declaration because I recognize that individual
responsibility is the first step on the path to peace." Heather
"First, in all my scientific work I will
be honest and I will not do anything which in my view is to the
obvious detriment of the human race. Second, if later I find
that my work is being used in my view to the detriment of the
human race I will endeavour to nullify these developments."
„Ich schwöre, dass ich
meine Erkenntnisse, meine Erfindungen und die Anwendungen, die
ich möglicherweise daraus ziehe, niemals in den Dienst der
Gewalt, der Zerstörung oder des Todes, der Vermehrung des Elends
oder der Unwissenheit, der Unterdrückung oder der Ungleichheit,
sondern ausschließlich der Gleichheit unter den Menschen, ihres
Überlebens, der Verbesserung ihrer Lebensverhältnisse und der
Förderung ihrer Freiheit stellen werde.“ Thesaurus der
exakten Wissenschaften. Serres & Farouki (Ed). Zweitausendeins.
The ' experiment' Daytime Running Light/Licht
am Tag (DRL/LAT) in Austria is not in accordance with any of the
oaths cited above. It violates the rules of the exact sciences.
It contradicts common sense and is unethical. Moreover, it
implies a Violation of the Obligation of Protection.
DRL/LAT was designed in order to improve
the safety of all participants in traffic - without any
exception. However, the focus on only one particular group by
DRL/LAT, namely on cars, inevitably makes all other persons and
objects involved in traffic less conspicuous and thus exposes
pedestrians (especially children), cyclists, bikers, handicapped
persons, wheelchair-drivers, etc., to more hazards.
At the end of the observation period of
[approximately] one year the foretold increase in the number of
traffic accidents (involving predominantly children) at
pedestrian crossings could be observed. In Clinical Studies the
FDA [Food and Drug Administration] would immediately interrupt
an experiment yielding such counterproductive and fatal results.
Advocates and supporters of DRL/LAT claim that this measure
reduces the total number of traffic accidents. For many reasons
a merely statistical approach is highly questionable. Light
stimuli moving in central areas and even more on the periphery
of a visual field automatically attract attention and thereby
obliterate any other object. However, the visibility of all
participants needs to be enhanced if traffic should be safer.
Furthermore, the visibility should be improved by 360 degrees,
i.e. on all four sides; if not, this means that the flanks of a
car, for example, become less noticeable and the total concept
will break down To ignore or neglect particularly vulnerable or
unprotected participants or parts (see rear-or side-impact
crashes) would create a situation resembling that of ‘blind
spots’ [i.e: The failure to enhance the visibility of
unprotected participants and parts inevitably will create blind
spots]. Accidents caused by the failure to notice other
participants in traffic therefore may even endanger
DRL/LAT-drivers in the long run.
*Only front daytime running lights are
requested in Austria. In accordance to the new regulations or
amendment no rear lights are requested during daytime.
Statistical analysis: No significant
results can be expected. No conclusions are allowed. Why? First
of all, the prerequisite, the homogenous matching group is
lacking. 'Mixed traffic' (the worst and least desirable
situation ever - Bergisch Gladbach 2005) comprising
inhomogeneous and inconsistent data had to be evaluated. Dipped
(or not..) headlights, daytime running lights, blinking diodes
and un-'accentuated' objects, resting or moving in changing
formations were comprising the group before DRL/LAT. Innumerable
other parameters like weather-influences, economy,
road-constructions, tunnel-illuminations, ‘roundabouts’,
traffic-signs and -lights, road repairs, street lighting,
traffic regulations, fine praxis etc. varied and changed
throughout the time spans corresponding. Choosing a single
parameter (DRL/LAT) out of many and constructing faulty and
incorrect causal chains will never vindicate and justify a
worldwide lucrative branch in industry: The DRL/LAT-production.
Undesired side effects of DRL/LAT: 'Change
Blindness, Inattentional Blindness, Inattentional Amnesia
(Computer Simulation: Motion Induced Blindness' - a related
phenomenon), disturbances of the 'gist' of the traffic scenario
and of the equilibrium of concentration, ‘near misses’ with
following imbalances of vigilance and attention, crowding,
'overwriting' and functional deficits of Visual Short Term
Memory (VSTM), failures of apperception and perception, glare
and overexposure (headlights during daytime), temporal retinal
summations, phototoxicity, prolonged retinal recovery times
(Macula 'Stress'-Test), over-stimulation and over-strain,
insufficient signal to noise ratio of DRL/LAT (..toward zero in
bright daylight and sunshine), lack of automatically shutoff
systems at the gates, at red traffic lights etc., increasing
percentage of maladjusted, defective and blind headlights
(‘one-eyed’), blind rear lights (even in tunnels - drivers are
inclined to forget), side impact crashes, repair costs,
pollution, waste of energy, light pollution, economy, ecology,
environment, an incomplete though never ending list..
An advantage/disadvantage DRL/LAT analysis
would be instructive. Unfortunately due to the dynamic
complexity of this subject no significant result can be
expected, similar to intended comprehensive statistical
analysis. Comparable to other countries with DRL/LAT-regulation
the number of traffic-accident-victims in the 'weaker' group of
traffic participants (children in the first line) is constantly
growing, unfortunately, unpardonably.
Northern countries (and regions in the
extreme south correspondingly): Geography has no influence upon
the laws of sensory physiology, cognition psychology, brain
research etc. Distraction and distracters (DRL/LAT) are causing
similar and identical disturbances of vision, perception,
apperception, orientation and proper reaction - all over the
world. DRL/LAT is not indicated. There is no need for DRL/LAT.
DRL/LAT- induces interferences and
disturbances at any level of background light intensity - at any
time - at any location in geography. Reflectors and reflecting
clothing cannot be 'activated' by DRL/LAT - no light beam can
cause the desired reflections in order to enhance the
conspicuousness of 'traffic relevant' objects. No scientific
argument and no statistical analysis can justify the use of
DRL/LAT. Definitely not at the cost of victims in traffic
Headlights: To be used only under
conditions of reduced sight (dawn, dusk, reduced
daytime-light-intensity, fog, deep shadow). Exclusively the use
of appropriate headlights (glare-free) at the proper situation
can allow better and earlier perception, apperception and
recognition of 'traffic relevant' objects. This conception
represents the only sensible and scientifically acceptable way
to higher safety in traffic - for everybody.
'Field Studies and Scientific
Experiments': An Ethic Commission and a Science Commission -
like a pendant to the FDA should prove thoroughly,
conscientiously and scrupulously any new 'idea' or proposition
in traffic policy forcing immediate interruption of regulations
like DRL/LAT which are leading to undesired and even fatal
Daytime Running Light = Licht am Tag