Reduce RTA's by enforcing the use of dipped headlights in inclement weather
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As a professional HGV driver, I have become increasingly aware of the amount of drivers that fail to switch their dipped headlights on in inclement weather on high speed roads such as Motorways, Duel Carriageways and Major A Roads.
In poor weather, a car without lighting, especially those not brightly coloured, simply fades into the rain or spray especially when viewed in a trucks mirrors. Therefore, a car approaching at speed could be missed when needing to change lanes or enter a carriageway.
It is obvious that having headlights and rear lights (And not just Day Time Running Lights) on in heavy rain, spray and fog, increases the visibility of a vehicles to all other drivers and not just lorry drivers.
I consider that the only way to ensure that all vehicles display the correct lighting at times of poor visibility would be to introduce their use as compulsory in law, with a points penalty, as opposed to simply a ruling within the highway code. (Rule 226).
The only accident statistics available covering headlight use from The Department of Transport, are for 2012-2015. These stats show that failing to display dipped headlights was a contributory factor in 686 RTA's (Source DOT RS5003). This obviously does not account for other accidents and near misses that had other significant contributory factors, or those that were unreported. Anecdotal evidence shows that at any one time, up to 10% of vehicles fail to light up sufficiently when required. DRL's have already reduced accidents involving pedestrians and cyclists by 15% and 10% respectively (Source Road Safety Observatory, Advanced Vehicle Systems report 2017), so it is thought that compulsory headlight use in poor weather can only improve accident figures further.
Definitive, measurable circumstances for lighting up could be measured by having to use full lights when wipers are in use or even when driving on a duel carriageway or motorway at any time. Debate for how to measure adherence to the law can be clarified with consultation with relevant parties such as motoring organisations, the road haulage industry .
Poor visibility in inclement weather can also be intensified by rain and dirt droplets on windscreens and mirrors, making it even more important to be able to see other vehicles so please sign this petition and help make British roads safer.
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