Lighten up time

There was a time when car sidelights were not very bright but adequate: headlights dazzled on full beam and but not when dipped. Lower lights were classed as fog lights and usually pointed to the near side of the road and were only allowed in appropriate weather conditions. Today we have side lights that are as bright as head lights but are not dipped: head lamps when dipped which are as dazzling as old headlamps on full beam: cars with side lights, head lamps and lower lights all of which appear to be on full beam. I have to dip my mirrors whenever cars are on my tail to stop being dazzled from both directions. Manufacturers are obviously allowed to provide these lamps but I wonder has the law been changed or has it not caught up with the latest lamp technology? If this is of general interest, feel free to edit my ramblings.

Asked on 12 March 2010 by T.M., Huddersfield

Answered by Honest John
That's a bit mixed up. Presumably you are referring to Daytime Running Lights and, when fitted as standalone DRLs, they are not as "blinding" as dipped headlights. The main problem comes from Xenon headlights (see www.blindedbixenon.co.uk) that must by EC law automatically compensate for the attitude of the car. Unfortunately these systems don't work fast enough, alternately pointing at the ground or at the sky on an undulating road, or break and don't work at all.
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