Is it illegal to have an on/off switch for the headlight on my motorbike?

I've recently brought Yamasaki RE50 Moped and have a question. The garage who I took the bike to tell me that it is illegal to have a main headlight on/off switch as well as a separate high and low beam switch. They said that new bikes now are required to have this switch covered so lights stay on all the time. The bike does have a Daytime Running Light though. I'll be grateful to know if this is true and, if so, could you lead me to a law document that says so? Would this be an MOT fail? Kind regards.

Asked on 6 October 2020 by M A Wyatt

Answered by Georgia Petrie
The laws on motorcycle headlights changed on 1 Jan 2016 when it became illegal to sell a new powered two-wheeler (so scooters and motorcycles) with an on/off switch for the headlights. This was to make sure the dipped beam was on permanently to make motorcycles more visible to other road users. The MoT guidelines state all switchgear fitted to the bike must be fully functional. However, some owners have retro-fitted on/off switches to bikes sold after 1 Jan 2016 using older model switchgear, but MoT testers generally go on the basis that if the switch works as it should, it's not a fail as it doesn't make the bike dangerous.

So, if your moped was sold new on or after 1 Jan 2016, it should have only a dipped/main-beam switch. DRLs are not included in the lights test of an MoT as they're not directional and are considered position lamps - this means they can switch on and off with the ignition or when the headlights are switched on. The MoT guidelines simply say they should operate properly where fitted and connected.
Tags: motorcycles
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