Elimination of BRIGHT HID/LED HEADLIGHTS
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There is a serious issue when it comes to visibility on the Highway facing automobiles now using LED and HID Headlights. They are extremely bright compared to old headlights or halogen ones that used to be installed by automobile companies before.
This is a serious issue for 2 reasons. 1) It is blinding when facing oncoming traffic that are using LED or HID headlights, so they obstruct one's vision and can cause accidents. 2) These new headlights are so bright it actually causes pain and damage to the retina of people's eyes.
Perhaps you’ve noticed while driving at night that some headlights just seem significantly brighter than others. It’s not your imagination. Brighter headlights are gaining traction in the automotive market. And I petition these super bright headlights to be recalled and go back to old style headlights that are not so blinding.
LED and HID headlights are a problem for many people in general who I spoken to and who highway drive regularly and just in urban areas. It is especially a problem for those who suffer from eye sensitivity, impaired eyesight, and older drivers. A National Institute of Health study on the subject found that HID headlights found that “increasing headlamp brightness also increases potential glare for oncoming drivers” , an issue in areas of decreased illumination. HID lights, in particular, are three times brighter than traditional halogen headlights and shine in the blue part of the color spectrum, which can feel like they physically “hurt” night-sensitive eyes. LED lights, while not as bright as HID lights, can still cause issues for most drivers.
Some consumers complain that this is difficult particularly on narrow, winding roads when faced suddenly with very bright HID headlights, but try to focus on another area of the road.
At issue with HID and LED headlights is the safety of one driver that may be enhanced by brighter headlights versus the safety of another driver that may be compromised by the glare of oncoming really bright headlights.
Lightmare points to DfT casualty stats for 2014 and argues that ‘the steady year-on-year decline in casualties has been halted and is now increasing in proportion to the use of blinding light’.
In an open letter to Mr McLoughlin, Lightmare’s Roy Milnes refers to “expert medical opinion proving that blinding lights are the cause”.
Lightmare, a lobby group, argues that the rise in road casualties in the UK since 2010 can be directly linked to an EU mandate from February 2011 stating that all cars should have DRLs.(daytime running lights)
It says that after the 2011 mandate, many vehicle manufacturers started introducing BiXenon High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlights which it claims ‘can cause temporary blindness’, and as a result accidents have increased because of a ‘reduced perception of hazards caused by light distraction’.
Lightmare has been campaigning since 1999 and claims that the current VW emissions scandal is ‘nothing compared to what the automakers have deliberately inflicted upon us with blinding headlights and daytime lights’.
It claims that the EU's road safety advisors only did laboratory tests and did not consult with ophthalmologists about the detrimental effect of BiXenon HID headlights on the eye.
It suggests the EU initially proposed an intensity of 400 candelas (cd) for DRL but at the ‘behest of automakers’ they finally mandated blinding 1200cd DRL and 2500cd headlights.
Lightmare accepts that 1200cd DRL may be needed in pure sunlight but says at all other times they ‘blind you’, suggesting it is a ‘gimmick’ to give automakers something to market as ‘safety sells’.
2015 saw a historic rise in traffic related fatalities. 7.2% more Americans died on the roads than in the previous year. This is an alarming statistic, representing thousands of new fatalities after years of decline. It’s so alarming that NHTSA has convened multiple conferences to look into the issue and the Department of Transportation has reached out to the public in an effort to “crowd-source” an answer. While there are sure to be multiple factors involved, I feel one major cause is being overlooked by officials.
It is clear to anyone who drives, walks or bikes the roads: the trend toward LED and HID headlights has become a source of dangerous, blinding glare.
In addition, LED daytime running lamps, as well as overly-bright LED tail-lights, brake-lights and turn signals, are a source of fatal distraction, creating what is known as inattentional blindness or the “Las Vegas Effect”, a visual field so polluted by distracting glare that the brain has a hard time keeping focused on the important subjects like pedestrians in a crosswalk.
The American Medical Association recently issued guidelines on “blue-rich light”, the very sort of harsh, bluish-white light used by LED headlights and daytime running lamps. The AMA stated that blue-rich light causes pain and damage to the human eye and suppresses melatonin at five times the rate of other wavelengths. They have urged people to move lighting toward the more natural and warm red-end of the spectrum.
I am asking the health minister, the transport minister and the prime minister, to take this matter seriously and ban all LED /HID Headlights and other blue-light technologies on vehicles and to keep tail-lights, brake-lights and turn signals to a maximum brightness no greater than that allowed for traffic signals.
Let's stay safe on the road and save our eyes !
I appeal to the department of transport and the department of health and to your personal experience, if you are concerned like I am and tired of being blinded on the road and having your eyes damaged please sign my petition.
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