Why do some drivers believe it to be essential to drive around town with headlights plus driving or fog lights on as well.
I can remember the days when you could drive around town with just your sidelights on.
I find, on asking motorists I come into contact with, why do you have your fog lights on there are two common answers depending on the age of the driver. Young drivers mostly think it is cool, middle-aged and on usually do not know they are on or do not know how to turn headlights without the fog lights.
I think the situation has become confused over time - in my view partly due to the 'progress' by manufacturers of vehicle lighting, and partly due to the government's lack of forethought before things reached the state of present day lighting.
Originally Posted by Dennis W
(1) Earlier sidelights were incredibly poor, and the use of dipped headlights (then dip and switch - leaving only the nearside one lit) and the recommendations for use of dipped headlights first developed for bad weather conditions.
(2) As alternator/battery power improved, using headlights became more popular because less of less risk of a flat battery, and both headlights remaining 'on' in the dipped position developed on newer vehicles (probably driven by cheaper manufacturing than a solenoid-operated lamp unit).
(3) Along came the built-in fog lamps, initially only allowed during fog, but now commonly used at any time; plus the confusion over whether some are actually additional driving lamps. I've heard claims that some are, but am not sure myself - I don't have them.
(4) Now there are many cars with multi-bulb LED front sidelights which are very bright, and probably acceptable in town centres. Some drivers seem to use only these, but others also have dipped headlights on as well.
(5) Added to this are the exceptionally powerful headlights, even on dip, that can dazzle when properly adjusted, and are a real pain if not correctly aligned.
(6) There are differing opinions about whether dipped headlights should be used in town centres and/or during daylight.
The drivers of service buses in our area are under management instructions that they must run with dipped headlights at all times; day and night.
(7) Along with all this, we still have those drivers who have NO lights on in really bad weather, and well after official lighting-up time.
Is it any wonder that we have to drive around among all this mixed bag of conditions?
Of your two answers, wagolynn, the first must come under the immaturity of youth. The second one I find puzzling. The road lighting switch for my car (which I would imagine to be commonplace) allows first position for obligatory lights and second position for headlights. In order to switch on the fog lights (I don't have them at the front, but models that do simply have them wired to this same switch which also controls the rear fog lights), the switch has to be pulled out before it can be turned futher to switch on the fog lighting. Turning off the fog lights causes the switch to pull back inwards to the 'headlights and sidelights on' position. For those who can't deal with that, I wonder about their general abilities!
That was the point in posting that observation Snowball, of course my 'sample' is very small.
Not forgetting that fog lamps are also used in place of headlamps when the headlamp bulbs have failed. (Easier and cheaper!?) I reckon that every third car around here drives in the dark with fog lamps on, with or without headlamps.
Did they not bring in a law some years ago, where not having serviceable headlights, even in daytime, could earn penalty points and up to a £1,000 fine? Is that law still in force, and has anyone heard of it being enforced?
Originally Posted by Rolebama
There's nothing like a few well publicised fines to get drivers focused - no pun intended.
The problem with that Snowball is how to do deal with the situation of a bulb blowing while on route somewhere?
If it is illegal to drive it, Do you have to get a recovery truck? With the best intentions in the world, It is impossible to change some headlamp bulbs without tools and time.
Judging by the amount of cars I see these days with at least one brake or tail lamp out I'd say the owners just don't care.
It is an offence to have a failed headlight during the hours of darkness (obvious) but it is also an offence to have a failed headlight during daylight hours. The reason being that it could snow heavily, you could drive into fog, heavy thunderstorm with a lot of spray etc so headlights must work any time.
The driver's defence to a failed bulb is that it failed while on the journey. Unless proved otherwise, you would not be prosecuted and you can finish the journey.
AFAIK lighting offences don't incur points.
Originally Posted by Snowball