Extract from the Royal Society
for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) “Care on the Road”
newsletter February 2007
“RoSPA’s view is that if cars
are fitted with Daytime Running Lights, then there is much
concern that the conspicuity of other road users without DRL
will suffer. The risk is that when drivers are making
observations and looking out for other road users, that drivers
will search for the DRL on other vehicles rather than surveying
the whole scene and spotting vulnerable road users such as
cyclists and pedestrians.
“This is a serious concern as
research has shown that ‘looked but failing to see’ errors
contribute to 23 per cent of unimpaired drivers’ accidents
during daylight, and a more recent report identified that 32 per
cent of all accidents were caused when road users ‘failed to
look properly’. Cyclists are at a risk of suffering a serious
injury if hit by a car and so being spotted by other road users
is important to a cyclist’s safety.
“Although the counter argument
would be that DRL may make it easier for cyclists to spot cars,
enabling them to plan an ‘escape route’ to prevent an accident
if the car were to pull out, it does not address the issue of
drivers making poor or incomplete observations and failing to
spot a cyclist.
Pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and
drivers desire to share the common road space in safety with the
maximum of consideration and courtesy towards each other.
Safety should never be intrusive or obtained at a disadvantage to
others, current DRL are a selfish concept based upon outmoded
Daytime headlights are intended to reduce accidents to one group of
road users and one or type officially termed "multi-party vehicle
Why should one group of road users who are cocooned in airbag
equipped padded metal boxes which have reinforcing beams and crumple
zones try to obtain safety at the expense of vulnerable road users?
Probably the most poignant comment on safety is from Roger Harrobin
the Radio 4 environmental correspondent:
"So do we have to
equip school children with headlamps and car batteries in their
satchels?" - please see
Because safety sells, certain manufacturers promote bright 55watt daytime running lights,
governments like DRL because the extra fuel gives them more
tax revenue, lamp bulb manufacturers like them because standard
bulbs burn out every
10,000 -12,000 miles and garages like them because they charge
for fitting new lamps at service intervals.
Wow - those
pedestrians on the crossing were difficult to see
DRL were introduced by the Swedish in 1977 after they changed from
driving on the left to the right in 1967 and have kept them up as a
marketing gimmick. Like the tailors in charming story of the “Emperors
New Clothes” by the Danish author Hans Christian Anderson, the
proponents of DRL have fooled the world.
Volvo may claim less vehicles run into their cars, but if
everyone in the UK used daytime lights, any benefit would be negated
due to drivers reduced ability to perceive hazards.
The EU is trying
to impose DRL universally across the community. Italy in 2002, the
battle rages in France (see Motorcyclists) so it is likely that the UK and Germany will be
their next targets.
Interestingly, whist the EU have many academic DRL studies
promulgating benefits of a 5% reduction in accidents, in reality
the EU are unable to produce an real world evidence of any benefit.
government is aware of this problem and has introduced a new hazard
perception element to the driving test. The UK government has
reservations about the effectiveness of full power DRL. We
have evidence that when DRL were introduced into the USA, injuries
increased particularly to the occupants of Volvo cars.
DRL violate human rights.
Universal Declaration of Human
All human beings are born free and equal in
dignity and rights
has the right to
liberty and security of person.
Everyone has the right to
recognition everywhere as a person before the law.
equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination
to equal protection of the law.
All are entitled to equal
protection against any discrimination in violation of this
Declaration and against any incitement to such