Motor Vehicles: Lighting

Department for Transport written question – answered on 16th April 2018.

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Photo of Thelma Walker Thelma Walker Labour, Colne Valley

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department plans to review The Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations 1989,1989 No. 1796, PART III, Regulation 27; what assessment his Department has made of the effect of brighter car headlamps on other road users; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Jesse Norman Jesse Norman Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

Regulation 27 of the Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations 1989 already contains a general provision preventing headlamps from causing undue dazzle or discomfort to other road users. However, the regulations governing the performance of lamps fitted to new vehicles are negotiated internationally through the United Nations and, responding to concerns raised by the public about headlamp glare, the UK secured support to establish an experts’ group to review the technical requirements that is expected to report later this year.

The Department has made no specific assessment of the effect of brighter car headlamps on other road users but the Police collect data on collisions routinely and the officer attending the scene can record up to six contributory factors based on their initial assessment of the incident. From 2005 to 2016, dazzle from headlamps at night is recorded in 0.77 percent to 1.04 per cent of accidents and shows no discernible increase over that time period. This suggests that any potential trend for increasingly bright headlamps is having little or no significant effect on road safety.

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