The UK Lighting Laws - Possible Compensation Claims







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Last updated

13 December 2010


Extract from The Human Rights Act 1998 SCHEDULE 1 The Articles

Part I The Convention Rights and Freedoms Article 2 Right to life

"Everyone’s right to life shall be protected by law."

Daytime headlights (particularly HID type) violate this human right by masking vulnerable road users.

The Highway Code, the MOT test and The Road Vehicle Lighting Regulations 1989 Part III Regulations Governing  the Maintenance of lamps, reflectors, rear markings and devices Section 23 Paragraph 2 a (iii) and Paragraph 2 b (iii) require all lamps to be working before driving is permitted, therefore driving with a failed headlamp or running lamp is in contravention of the above clause and illegal.  The Association of British Insurers advise DRL via their Thatcham Crash Laboratory (they are reliant upon flawed DRL Studies), certain insurance companies e.g. AXA advise DRL, and to the population as a whole by inference and example from TV adverts by Volvo and lamp bulb manufacturers advise or encourage drivers to use permanent DRL via normal headlamp dipped beams (also called passing beams). Volvo Cars use permanent DRL with EU type approval.

Using normal headlamps for DRL is an incorrect application.  Headlamps are designed for seeing with.  To allow a vehicle to be seen, dedicated non-glaring long life lamps such as Light Emitting Diodes (LED) should have been used.

Standard H4 and H7 tungsten halogen lamp bulbs from the major manufacturers Osram, Phillips and Ring were never designed for continuous use and have a lifespan of only 300 – 400 hours.  There are long life lamps available which last between 300 – 1200 hours, but these reduce the light output by de-rating the lamps and on the manufacturer’s own admission, they are not advisable for night time use.

Energy efficient low power LED lamps are durable and reliable, typically last for 60,000 hours, they have become common place on vehicles for centre brake lights, some buses use them for rear and indicator lamps.

Therefore standard tungsten halogen headlamp bulbs can burn out in between normal service intervals, putting the driver at risk when illumination is really needed for a driver to see and be seen during the hours of darkness.

If a headlamp bulb has failed prematurely due to daytime use because of vehicle design or advice and an accident ensues, you may be able to claim compensation from the manufacturer or insurer or source of advice even if it was your fault.

Rule 94 of the  Highway code states "You MUST NOT use any lights in a way which would dazzle or cause discomfort to other road users".  When DRL equipped cars bounce over speed humps headlamps exceed the statutory 1% dip angle and cause dazzle.

Incorrect advice to use DRL which put vulnerable road users at risk or lamp failure or dazzle due to humps could be construed to be the causation of an accident,

for further advice consult a specialist in accident claims, contact:

  BGR Bloomer - personal injury solicitors - accidents at work, road traffic accidents etc.  0800 050 1 050

Tim Golding Solicitor Tel  01244 852 044  Fax 01244 852 041, 17 Telford Court, Chester Gates, Chester, CH1 6LT


Road Traffic Act 1988 or 1991 (as indicated)                                                                            RTA

Road Traffic (New Drivers) Act 1995                                                                                           RT(ND)A

Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984                                                                                                RTRA

Road Vehicles (Construction & Use) Regulations 1986                                                        CUR

Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations 1989    RVLR