Monday 26 March 2018


I have always thought that high intensity headlights are a pestilence. Now I find I am part of a massive majority. 80% of drivers surveyed by the RAC think that there should be better regulation for modern headlights.

“The headlights of some newer cars are so bright they are causing a road safety hazard for drivers with as many as two-thirds (65%) of motorists saying they regularly get dazzled by oncoming headlights even though they are dipped.

“Fifteen per cent of motorists surveyed by the RAC claim they have suffered a near-miss as a result of being dazzled by modern headlights that they believe are too bright.”

This is clearly a safety issue, but I was worried by the tone of some of the RAC’s press release. First of all, they see brighter lights as an improvement in technology. “the new designs of headlights are brighter, making it easier for drivers to see and therefore potentially safer for them...”; “Headlight technology has advanced considerably in recent years, but while that may be better for the drivers of those particular vehicles, it is presenting an unwanted, new road safety risk for anyone driving towards them...”. I doubt that it is safer for them. And it is only “better” if you accept the dominant view that people should be able to drive as fast as they want regardless of road, traffic, weather or light conditions. It is not better if one person’s ability to drive carelessly is bought at the expense of another’s difficulty.

We would not need brighter headlights if we drove a little more slowly. We might also reduce the 1800 deaths and 23000 serious injuries we cause on the roads every year.

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