Lightmare in Berkshire

It seems now days that many cars are fitted with overpowered headlights, which are not necessary and are a danger to other road users. At one time I believed these lights were a vanity thing but there are now too many cars with them to be the case. They blind and distract an approaching driver and mask things such as cyclists and pedestrians, etc. I live in an area were many roads are not smooth motorways but just ordinary country roads. Cars with these very powerful headlamps flash up and down as they approach making the only safe option for oncoming drivers to stop.

Asked on 23 February 2011 by AA, Curridge, Berks

Answered by Honest John
You are writing of Xenon headlights and this is another example of stupid EC Law. The relevant Directive requires that, because of their brightness, Xenon lights must automatically adjust their beam height depending on the angle of the car to the road. Unfortunately, on an undulating road, these automatic beam height adjusters are usually too slow, resulting in the lights either pointing at the ground in front of the car, at the sky, or, in your case, directly into your eyes. As well as that, the systems are fragile and frequently fail, but the cost of replacing them is always at least £600 a side and sometimes as much as £1,200 a side. So owners don't replace them. EC law also takes no account of dipped Xenon lights shining directly into the door mirrors of cars about to be overtaken. See
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