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PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2005 23:15 
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Interesting that the vehicle concerned is French.
Whenever there is a hazard on the road in France, there is a orange flashing light!
A long load, heavy load or wide load is preceeded by another vehicle with several flashing orange lights, and a big sign hung across the front proclaiming "CONVOY EXCEPTIONIAL".
It seems the car in question has continued this Gaulish tradition.

Some of the cars I have driven make it awkward to operate the hazard lights switch when slowing or avoiding an incident in front. One had the switch overhead, in front of the rearview mirror, one was on the top of the steering console, so I would appreciate the automatic initiation in some circumstances.

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 Post subject: Re: Brake Lights
PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2005 01:22 
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SafeSpeed wrote:
Safety Engineer wrote:
I've got a Citroen Xsara that when you stand on the brakes (emergency stop) it activates the hazard lights (Manufacturers standard fit).

Any Views ??

Seriously, however, I have a massive aversion to this sort of automation in a general sense. I'd like to judge for myself when to give a signal to other road users.

On the other hand I can't really see any harm in this one...


Ah, well we've been talking about it here at Safe Speed Towers, and we've got a big problem for Citroen. It stops you indicating.

Suppose there's a problem in L2 of a motorway - I may wish to brake hard then swerve into L1 or L3. I may have the chance to indicate my emergency lane change, but the stupid car would prevent me doing so by using the indicators.

It also seems that the law does not support use of the hazard lights except on motorways or dual carriageways, so the feature is illegal on all single carriageway roads.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2005 09:08 
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Is it not possible that the indicators override the auto hazards?


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2005 11:21 
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Rewolf wrote:
Is it not possible that the indicators override the auto hazards?


Clearly it's technically possible.

I'll place my personal bet (only a little bet mind) they they don't.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2005 20:23 
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Safespeed wrote:
so the feature is illegal on all single carriageway roads.

I would'nt worry myself over it - my flashing rear cycle light is illegal, but technical legalities seem to be lower on the list of priorities.
Does anyone know of a cyclist who has been prosecuted for the flashing LED lamps? :(

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2006 15:25 
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well seems like we were late already with this thread... bmw have been doing something similar to my suggestion for ages :roll:

here, cant find the official bmw info on this, their site is too painful for me to bother navigating round.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2006 00:53 
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Paul: "Ah, well we've been talking about it here at Safe Speed Towers, and we've got a big problem for Citroen. It stops you indicating.

Suppose there's a problem in L2 of a motorway - I may wish to brake hard then swerve into L1 or L3. I may have the chance to indicate my emergency lane change, but the stupid car would prevent me doing so by using the indicators.

It also seems that the law does not support use of the hazard lights except on motorways or dual carriageways, so the feature is illegal on all single carriageway roads."

Have now got a C4 that has the same function, never having used it anger I haven't been able to answer any of the points raised but was on an old airfield over the weekend and had a play and found the following:

Under hard braking it doesn't activate you really have to be standing on the brakes - a proper emergency stop,

If the indicators are operating it doesn't overide, but if the indicators are off then the hazards take precedence,

once activated, as soon as you release the brake pressure significantly it turns off, likewise if the throttle is used.

Any use ?? If I had to be braking hard enough to activate the hazards I'm not sure I'd want to be trying to indicate to change lane or be hunting for the hazards manually.

Personally I like them !

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2006 02:36 
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The blinking brake light idea could work.

Mistaking the car for a bicycle in fog or poor light conditions could be avoided by having the blinking function confined to the centre brake light, with the left and right ones being solid red as normal.

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PostPosted: Sun May 07, 2006 03:38 
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I like the sound of progress bar, people are used to them now (thanks Microsoft), I'd personally use it the way mentioned.. ie.. 2 normal brake lights, 1 centre brake light, 2 progress bars working their way from outside of car towards centre brake light (so as to distinguish between different size centre brake lights)..

Only draw back would be if BOTH of these broke and people were used to them and expecting them, they wouldn't brake hard enough in an emergency.. BUT that's a lot of if's and we get a lot worse than that now with only 1 led lit on the centre brake light instead of a full row + 2 normal brake lights (check 90% of ford mondeo's and vw's)


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PostPosted: Sun May 07, 2006 23:12 
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Well Well!!!!

Back in the 1970s (maybe even the late 60s?) Tom Karen at Ogle produced a design study that later went on to become the Reliant Scimitar and it had brake lights such as you describe. It had one pair of brake lights near the outer corners of the vehicle (as usual) and then it had several additional pairs forming a continuous band right across the whole width of the car. If you braked gently, the outer pair came on just as with any ordinary car but as you braked harder, additional pairs lit up until the two lines met in the middle of the car by the time you were standing on the brake pedal. Sounded like a great idea to me and it overcame the problem of having one pair of brake lights that got brighter as you braked harder (too dim to see initially and too bright at the end). I was surprised it was never taken up.

From a regulatory point of view, everything's a bit of a mess. The UK has its Road Vehicle Lighting Regs (links in other posts) but now that we're one big happy Euro-family, these are over-ridden by the European requirements. These, in turn, are quite messy. There are requirements for the actual lights themselves and then there are separate requirements for their installation on the car. To make things worse, there are two sets of requirements commonly used in the EC - EC Directives and ECE Regulations. Until fairly recently, one set DEMANDED the use of an additional high-level stop light and the other FORBADE it! (fortunately, the necessary amendents have now been made!) Currently though, they only allow for two (outer) stop lamps to be fitted and one high level light so the Ogle idea would be illegal for Type Approval in Europe.

Once the car has been registered, the Type Approval requirements cease to be relevant and we revert to the old UK Lighting Regs - which allow any number of stop lamps to be fitted - so it would be OK in the UK once that car is registered!

As far as the hazards working when the brakes are applied hard, my 807 (French again!) does this too but I think it might actually be a function of how FAST the pedal is applied as well as how hard. When I first go it, they used to annoy the hell out of me because on the little single track roads round here, I'd often get someone coming round a blind bend way too fast and would stamp on the brake pedal for a fraction of a second and they'd come on. I'd then lift off the pedal as the hazard passed and root round for the hazard switch to turn them off but by the time I'd found it, they'd have gone off by themselves - so I'd actually be turning them back ON again! :hoppingmad: Over time, it has started to dawn on me that if I "kick" the brake pedal quickly but not especially hard, they seem to come on. On ther occasions where I'm really standing on the brakes, they sometimes come on as well but I'm starting to think there's some complex logic behind the decision to activate them or not - probably tied up with the "panic-assist" type braking feature it has!

FInally (sorry for the long post!) I think Ernest is OK with his flashing bike lights. I'm not sure but I've a feeling that the UK regs have been amended to make these things acceptable now - I could root it out and check if you want Ernest!


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PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 21:52 
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The idea of a flashing brake light has been researched alot and it increases the awareness of the following driver. This is more so in bad weather.

The units can be easily fitted and there is a delay version for people that do not want to have the lights flash when in ques, it has a delay funtion that waits 8 seconds to reset. Personally I like the idea of the fact it will always flash 6 times and then enter the steady on state. Driving alot of miles I have had many a near miss as the driver behind me has not seen my brakes, I have not had the same since fitting our unit. It can be fitted to the high level brake light only or the two main brake lights (dual channel version)

There is the test result on our site for interested parties flashingbrakelights.co.uk


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PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2008 16:04 
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Not that automatically flashing brake lights are legal for use on the roads...

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PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2008 00:06 
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They sort of can be - some mainstream cars already have them. I think our Lighting Regs forbid them but are written in such a way that in any "clash" between EC requirements and UK ones, the EC ones take precedence over ours. Now the EC ones don't allow them either (I don't think) just yet but they have a clause allowing special exemptions for new technology. It's the same clause that was used when gas discharge headlights started to appear, because those weren't "legal" either.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 13:14 
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This is something that I am trying to get clarrified. As none of the gov agencies want to be seen to be against improvements in road safety.
The MOT states that the brake lights have to come on and enter a steady on state and that if the flash for 2 seconds and then enter the steady on then they will pass.
Lets hope VOSA will make a stance and not leave it in the grey area of "well technically they are not ellegal"
:drink: to road safety and what ever we can do as trafic increases


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 17:13 
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I have a unit fitted to my car and it makes the centre break light flash 6 times and then go solid. I have had police behind me and never been stopped. I like to think that it makes the person be hind me see when I am breaking.

check it out at www.flashingbrakelights.co.uk not expensive and easy to fit

Anyone else tried one?


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 22:03 
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I have just had my car MOT'ed and can confirm that if you have anything other than a steady read light it WILL fail the MOT, i had to disconnect mine to get a pass.

I contacted VOSA and they said that it is a fail and they have no itension of reviewing the MOT.

I have now complained to RoSPA and the Department of Transport who are currently running a safety consultation the aim of which is to make Britains roads safest in Europe, maybe good idea if we conform to thier regs


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 23:15 
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Rewolf wrote:
Is it not possible that the indicators override the auto hazards?


Certain VAG group cars do this as standard . One thing I do as a matter of course before driving off is to locate the hazard switch . That way ,in an emergency ,I don't have to faff about in a strange vehicle wasting seconds looking for the hazards -might give car behind the valuable time to stop ( space in front + hazards = braces+ bit of string).Keepong tabs on cars ahead of the one in front -=belt .( think of it as holding triusers up) .

But - flashing brake lights - something ( I think we've all done for years-we sit at loghts and and pulse the brake pedal ) - we'd alll ike to think the driver behind was on the ball , but can we ?? -so anything that triggers brain activity to focus on a hazard ,in my book , gets a plus .

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 16:10 
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I have had flashing rear brake lights on my motorcycle for 4 years with no problem from the police at all, they are illegal and I had to swap them for standard bulbs for the MOT, I see people in cars behind me pointing at them when I brake but now I have finally had to swap them as going to work the other morning at 4am a local bobby pulled me over and didn't like them saying he has ridden motorcycles for 16 years and has never been rear ended, I'll wait a few months and put them back in, just hope I don't see that copper again:)


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 09:53 
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There are a number of real routes to ensure safety behind you.
If you are in a queue and are really unsure that a few presses of the brake pedal have caught their eye (having left a very large gap between you and the hazard) then toot your horn. Hazard lights are now valid it use to help alert other motorists. Slowly moving towards the hazard as traffic build behind you enables you to choose how much of your 'safety cushion' needs to be used up as to decrease your distance to the hazard.
A few controlled pedal presses executed under your control when necessary, is helpful to road safety. When happening regularly they can become commonplace, potentially annoying or even ignored. There are also those in society that can have negative effects from flashing lights and they need to be used with caution.
I am not a fan of cycle flashing red lights and see little reason as to their purpose. I can see that a red light is moving and is highly likely to be a cycle and until I can confirm 100% will treat it as a hazard.
The true problem is people not paying attention, not providing ever more 'solutions' that can only ever attempt a 'patch-up' that is never going to resolve the problem.
Good traffic flow and traffic management help to keep motorists alert as they make steady progress during their journey.
A growing spiral of 'alerts and warnings' only add to the confusion of information. Keeping things simple and improving motorists abilities is far safer as it resolves the problem head on.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 09:02 
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Coming on to the m6 this morning, merged with the trucks & moved out into L2. Usual train of cars in L3 @ 80mph 2 inches apart, I could easily see the shockwave of lights coming back up L3 for at least 1/4 of a mile, of course no one in L3 could see this much before 3 cars down I guess. as the shockwave flashed back past me at ever increasing speed & braking severity i noted some flashing brake lights.

Vauxhall Insignia
http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/carreviews ... ignia.html

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With such powerful brakes, it’s good to see that the Vauxhall warns following drivers of an emergency stop with flashing brake lights and automatic activation of its hazard lamps.


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