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The elderly half-lit - Tom Shaw
We've had many threads on the backroom regarding the illegal use of fog lights which everyone seems to agree is very irritating, especially front fogs on well lit roads. Having now lived in the sticks for about three months, and consequently doing a fair bit of motoring on unlit roads I have noticed another habit which is equally frustrating; the 40mph plodder who will not use main beam. Apart from the fact that he/she might as well be driving with one eye shut, they are impossible to overtake as you simply cannot see far enough ahead to determine whether the road is straight or there is a bend ahead.

I wonder if these - mostly elderly - people are so unaware of ther vehicles equipment that they don't actually realise the lights have one more phase to go, or they just can't be bothered to turn the headlights on full beam because they are not confident enough of there ability to go back to dipped when meeting an approaching vehicle?

I spent about 10 miles gnashing my teeth behind one of these last night.
Re: The elderly half-lit - Andy Paul
Typical. As soon as you overtake them they find out how to use the main beam.



Andy
Re: The elderly half-lit - ChrisR
Do they drive any quicker in daylight?

Chris
Confession! - Rebecca
When I had my first car (aged 17) I thought that the main beam was the full beam, and consequently drove 'half-lit' at night for a while. Fortunately someone pointed this out after a few weeks. Perhaps the elderly should be told by now?

Yet another reason for the return of Public Information Films!

PS The first time I filled up with petrol I was impressed that the pump stopped automatically, and removed the nozzle while still holding tight to the handle.....big petrol puddle all over my feet and the floor....

We learn by our mistakes, because no-one has taught us other wise!
Re: Confession! - Cliff Pope
If the point of main beams is to let you see further, and therefore go faster, doesn't this mean that when you meet an oncoming car and revert to dip beam, you have either to slow down or drive blind?
I certainly sometimes think,when driving on a slowish road, what is the point of dipping on and off all the time, why not just drive at a constant speed within the range of the dipped headlights?
It does depend though on the frequency of the oncoming traffic.
Re: Confession! - Andrew Tarr
I don't think it is the duty of any driver to use main beam just so that anyone following him can see further. I drive on dipped as long as I can see well enough to drive properly. Sometimes I get the feeling that the English disease of the last ten years has been an eagerness to tell others how to behave (or do their jobs), often by those only qualified as beginners.
Re: Confession! - Cliff Pope
I did once have an old car and was worried about using up the rare and almost unobtainable headlight bulbs. That has probably subconsciously coloured my thinking ever since.
Re: Confession! - Andrew Hamilton
On windy country roads it is invaluable to use main beam occasionaly to anticipate the route. If obstructions are seen well in advance, it gives you extra time to think before you need to overtake. I see an approaching car easily in the distance when it uses high beam and that enables me to dip well before the driver is inconvenienced. And I usually get a reciprocal dipping well before we pass.
Re: Confession! - ROBIN
They dont have to use main beams,as long as they realise that we who seek to overtake in order to avoid being inconvenienced by their stupidity ,selfishness and incompetence DO have to use them before and during the overtaking manoevre.If that means they cant see properly they should reflect on the undoubted fact that those who are unable to stand heat should at all times avoid kitchens.In short they should send their licences back.
The roads are not play grounds,they are for the use of people who wish to get where they are going without undue delay.If there is anyone behind you then it is fair to consider pulling over to let them pass.
On a Sunday,even down here in Cornwall,when I'm out for a run with The Dragon I regularly pull over.
I should just like to know where someone in a 15 year old Cavalier with one brake light and an underinflated rear tyre thinks he needs to be in such a hurry at 3pm on Sunday.Clearly time cannot be important to him,since his time is,apparently,nearly worthless.
Re: Confession! - colin
As I've posted before, I think there are some folk about who still worry about "using up the battery". They can be recognised by the wearing of a flat cap.
Re: Confession! - Martyn
This thread started off a trifle unfairly, got better in the middle (thank you Andrew and Cliff) and then went downhill again.

Unfair, because it is by no means only the elderly who drive in this way. It is generally those who don't give a damn about anyone else but themselves, and although a fair proportion of these draw their pensions, a heck of a lot more of them are way younger than I am.

As for needing to use your main beam before and during overtaking, just don't come up behind me and try that or you'll get a nasty surprise. If you can't overtake safely in the conditions which apply at the moment, do not overtake. If it makes you late, that's tough.

And as for the roads being 'not playgrounds', they are whatever you choose to use them for. If a driver chooses to use the roads to enjoy a quiet meander, that is his business. He should make provision for those who need to use the same stretch of road more quickly, by pulling over to let them through. But if he's one of those who doesn't give a damn, no-one has the right to drive dangerously to deal with the situation.

Martyn
Re: Confession! - Stuart B
This sod you mentality that Martyn describes is a real pain in society today and has reared its head in discussions on this site since the very first time I visited here.

One should drive according to the conditions and make the best possible progress consistent with arriving at the destination in one piece. That should involve consideration of someone who might want to go more slowly or more quickly than you.

Martyn, not sure what you mean by "main beam before and during overtaking, just don't come up behind me and try that or you'll get a nasty surprise"

Agree about the before bit, but during? Surely its OK as you get alongside , ie no reflection/dazzle in mirrors?

Yes its frustrating as happened last night when you get behind someone driving on dip at 30 in a NSL who then brakes whenever something comes the other way. Patience is a virtue IMHO.

And as for the crack about flat caps, 'ow would t'whippet know it were me then wi'out me cap?
Re: Confession! - Martyn
Stuart B wrote:
>

>
> Martyn, not sure what you mean by "main beam before and
> during overtaking, just don't come up behind me and try that
> or you'll get a nasty surprise"
>
> Agree about the before bit, but during? Surely its OK as you
> get alongside , ie no reflection/dazzle in mirrors?

I was quoting someone else there, Stuart. Read Robin's post above. But in fact the overtaking manoeuvre starts the moment the overtaker decides he's going to pull out, i.e. well to the rear and within the range of the overtakee's mirrors. So main beam then, while intercepting and pulling out to pass, is likely to blind the driver being overtaken, may cause him to wander and lose control, and may even lead to him colliding with the overtaking vehicle. As you say, of course, once the two cars are level, main beam is fine for the overtaker as long as nothing's coming towards you both.
Re: Confession! - Stuart B
Thanks Martyn I had missed that in Robin's post, fair comment. That is unacceptable behaviour, now what's the nasty surprise?

I'm quite taken by the idea of rear window roller blinds with reflective tape on for such an instance.
Re: The elderly half-lit - Tom Shaw
Anyone driving on an unlit road on dipped beam is not using his lights properly or effectively. No matter how slowly they may be travelling, they are reducing their field of view by at least two thirds. As well as compromising their own safety, they are hindering following drivers who may quite legitimately want to make better progress. And as I said originally, it does seem to be a habit that is the preserve of the elderly, though not exclusively.
Re: The elderly half-lit - Ian (cape town)
A shame proper light-usage can't become part of the driving test ... as obviously the majority of tests are done in daylight.

I seem to recall that in the US, they have a probation type period for new drivers wherein they aren't allowed to drive at night. Can any posters confirm this?
Re: The elderly half-lit - Dan J
I don't want to restart the thread again as I know it is a sore point, but motorway and dual carriageway driving should also be taught and tested within the driving test as it might make people drive better, safer and more considerately in this situation. Would certain alleviate comments such as "but that lane is for lorries isn't it?"!
Re: The elderly half-lit - Tom Shaw
Dual Carriageway driving has been part of the test since 1999, Dan. Night driving and motorway driving is covered in the Pass Plus, which unfortunately is not compulsory as yet.
Re: The elderly half-lit - Andrew Tarr
Tom - most present-day cars have perfectly adequate headlights for driving on unlit roads on dipped beam, unless you really don't see too well. Although I do like turning on the lot some of the time, the reflective signs which litter our roadsides are so bright that it is sometimes better without.
Re: The elderly half-lit - Independent Observer
Surely candles are perfectly adequate for driving on unlit roads.

What is relevant is the SPEED for which they are adequate.

Max 56mph apparently if properly set up on a car with good brakes and an attentive driver with decent eyesight and reflexes (dipped beams, not candles).

Someone suggested fog light linked speed limiters. Perhaps a dipped beam linked speed limiter combined with a brake/full beam linked oncoming car detector should be introduced.

If you are dipped: you can't go more than 56. If you are on main beams and a car approaches: beams dip, car brakes to 56, limited to 56 till the car passes AND main beam restored.
Re: The elderly half-lit - Lee H
>If you are dipped: you can't go more than 56. If you are on main beams and a car approaches: beams dip, car brakes to 56, limited to 56 till the car passes AND main beam restored.

Won't that create havoc on Motorways, many of which are now lit by street light type things, aleviating the need for main beam?
Re: The elderly half-lit - John Slaughter
IO

It won't work. Most Motorway driving is done on dipped headlights, due to levels of traffic. What about using dipped headlights during the day when it's rather gloomy, but still sufficient visibilty to exceed 65 miles/hr. as many people do?

What about the drivers who'll use main beam to speed up?

Can you really imagine a mix of 'dipped beam regulated' and 'normal' cars on the same stretch of road?

The answer is better driver education and training, not more restrictions.

Regards
JS
Re: The elderly half-lit - Independent Observer
...............Perhaps a dipped beam linked speed limiter combined with a brake/full beam linked oncoming car detector should be introduced.

If you are dipped: you can't go more than 56. If you are on main beams and a car approaches: beams dip, car brakes to 56, limited to 56 till the car passes AND main beam restored.............

No wonder that bogush character winds people up so much ;-)
Re: The elderly half-lit - Brian
Surely, the simple rule is to use main beams where they will not cause inconvenience to other road users (or pedestrians), and dipped lights at all other times.
And in either case adjust your speed commensurate with the distance that you can see.
Easy, isn't it!
 

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