Safe Speed Forums

The campaign for genuine road safety
It is currently Sat Dec 16, 2017 15:56

All times are UTC [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 15 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 12:19 
Offline
Gold Member
Gold Member

Joined: Tue Nov 28, 2006 15:27
Posts: 683
Location: New Forest
Riding my bike, I’m pretty much free from any form of ‘red mist’ emotion – except in conditions of poor visibility such as fog. Then I get angry.

There are far too many who think that side lights (or to use the correct term, parking lights) are meant to be used whilst moving and they will use them, on their own, in fog! It’s simple, if you drive in fog with just front parking lights, then no one else will see those lights until the moment they see the rest of your vehicle. And that’s usually too late.

And the solution is blindingly simple. When the vehicle engine starts, the only option available at the switch is headlights. In fact, why do manufacturers insist that parking lights are available at all with the ignition on? What’s the point?

OK, that won’t stop the unofficial game that the last driver to switch on his or her lights wins, but I wonder if it’s the extra effort required to turn the switch from ‘parking’ to ‘main’ that’s the root cause here.

_________________
It's tricky doing nothing - you never know when you're finished


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 12:54 
Offline
Friend of Safe Speed
Friend of Safe Speed
User avatar

Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2004 23:09
Posts: 6731
Location: Stockport, Cheshire
Sidelights are not and never have been just parking lights. If you actually are "old" you will remember that in the 1960s and before it was the norm to drive on sidelights at night in lit urban areas.

I firmly believe that there are conditions of illumination that justify the use of sidelights so that you can be seen by others, but where using full dipped beams is unnecessary and over-the-top. When driving at dusk I will normally put sidelights on first and move to dipped beams as it gets darker. And don't forget that sidelights provide 100% of the illumination of dipped beams from the rear.

Maybe the best answer would be to bring back the "dim-dip" lights that the EU made us phase out in the mid-90s.

_________________
"Show me someone who says that they have never exceeded a speed limit, and I'll show you a liar, or a menace." (Austin Williams - Director, Transport Research Group)

Any views expressed in this post are personal opinions and may not represent the views of Safe Speed


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 16:01 
Offline
Life Member
Life Member
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jun 22, 2006 13:54
Posts: 1711
Location: NW Kent
PeterE wrote:
Maybe the best answer would be to bring back the "dim-dip" lights that the EU made us phase out in the mid-90s.


I often use the headlamp height adjuster to 'dip' the lights further still when driving in town.

_________________
Driving fast is for a particular time and place, I can do it I just only do it occasionally because I am a gentleman.
- James May


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 16:30 
Offline
Gold Member
Gold Member

Joined: Tue Nov 28, 2006 15:27
Posts: 683
Location: New Forest
Typical! I should have read the Highway Code before posting. It seems that all these people I get so angry with, are only doing what the DfT advocate.

PeterE wrote:
If you actually are "old" you will remember that in the 1960s and before it was the norm to drive on sidelights at night in lit urban areas.


It would seem that is still what we should do…

Quote:
Highway Code rule 113
You MUST
· ensure all sidelights and rear registration plate lights are lit between sunset and sunrise
· use headlights at night, except on a road which has lit street lighting. These roads are generally restricted to a speed limit of 30 mph (48 km/h) unless otherwise specified
· use headlights when visibility is seriously reduced (see Rule 226)
Night (the hours of darkness) is defined as the period between half an hour after sunset and half an hour before sunrise).


Quote:
rule 226
You MUST use headlights when visibility is seriously reduced, generally when you cannot see for more than 100 metres (328 feet).


This is a seriously stupid rule. How do we define ‘cannot see’? Does it mean we can’t see anything beyond 100m, or that we can’t see anything clearly, or that we can’t see another vehicle unless it has it’s headlights on?

But whatever it means, 100m is a ridiculously poor visibility threshold. The HC tells us that at 70mph our Typical Stopping Distance is 96m, yet they tell us not to bother with headlights until we can’t see less than 4m beyond that distance. THAT’S ONLY 1 CAR LENGTH! Are they completely barking? (Rhetorical question!)

Anyway - sorry to all those I got angry with this morning. According to the Highway Code, I'm not supposed to see you.

_________________
It's tricky doing nothing - you never know when you're finished


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 19:08 
Offline
Gold Member
Gold Member
User avatar

Joined: Wed Dec 08, 2004 14:26
Posts: 4362
Location: Hampshire/Wiltshire Border
I like the way they define "night" - just in case you couldn't figure out that this is when it's dark.

_________________
Malcolm W.
The views expressed in this post are personal opinions and do not represent the views of Safespeed.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 19:21 
Offline
Gold Member
Gold Member

Joined: Tue Nov 28, 2006 15:27
Posts: 683
Location: New Forest
malcolmw wrote:
I like the way they define "night" - just in case you couldn't figure out that this is when it's dark.


Yeah. But who knows the actual time of 'Sunset', because from that point on you've only got 1/2 hr of grace for side lights only. Enjoy!

_________________
It's tricky doing nothing - you never know when you're finished


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2007 08:37 
Offline
User

Joined: Sun Sep 03, 2006 04:10
Posts: 3244
I would like to see those who advocate the use of sidelights on lit roads at night drive down a motorway (lit) with their sidelights on. See if they survive the first driver pulling into the lane they are in because the sidelights are un-seeable in the light from other dipped beams.
I'll drive with HEADLIGHTS on because EVERYONE else is also doing so.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2007 09:38 
Offline
Life Member
Life Member
User avatar

Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2005 22:02
Posts: 3266
Quote:
Maybe the best answer would be to bring back the "dim-dip" lights that the EU made us phase out in the mid-90s.

Can't agree more,

However the law needs changing to make sidelight running illegal on all roads with the possible exception of door-to-door delivery vehicles in > 30mph lit roads.
ie milk floats and newspaper deliveries etc

_________________
Speed limit sign radio interview. TV Snap Unhappy
“It has never been the rule in this country – I hope it never will be - that suspected criminal offences must automatically be the subject of prosecution” He added that there should be a prosecution: “wherever it appears that the offence or the circumstances of its commission is or are of such a character that a prosecution in respect thereof is required in the public interest”
This approach has been endorsed by Attorney General ever since 1951. CPS Code


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2007 11:54 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2004 06:46
Posts: 16903
Location: Safe Speed
jomukuk wrote:
I would like to see those who advocate the use of sidelights on lit roads at night drive down a motorway (lit) with their sidelights on. See if they survive the first driver pulling into the lane they are in because the sidelights are un-seeable in the light from other dipped beams.
I'll drive with HEADLIGHTS on because EVERYONE else is also doing so.


I've completed thousands of miles of driving on well lit motorways on sidelights only. It was the norm and it was absolutely fine before the late 1970s.

But to do it now would be, as you say, a big mistake. With everyone else on dips, sidelights only would lower your visibility relative to the background.

But with everyone on sidelights and no glare from headlights visibility was BETTER in the old days. Not to mention the much increased visibility of headlamp flashing when necessary.

_________________
Paul Smith
Our scrap speed cameras petition got over 28,000 sigs
The Safe Speed campaign demands a return to intelligent road safety


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2007 14:03 
Offline
User

Joined: Sun Sep 03, 2006 04:10
Posts: 3244
In the next few years things are going to get worse, streetlamp-wise.
With councils looking to save money (lower CO2 footprint etc) we will be seeing some streetlamps being removed, some being replaced with lower-light output lamps and in some places the only illumination will be at road junctions/roundabouts etc. You may not have noticed...but streetlamps are being standardised....the same tops/lamps are being used in replacements....


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2007 17:43 
Offline
User

Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2007 12:27
Posts: 361
jomukuk wrote:
I'll drive with HEADLIGHTS on because EVERYONE else is also doing so.

Yes, you have identified the problem. :roll:

BTW, for the hard of thinking a motorway is NOT 'a road which has lit street lighting.These roads are generally restricted to a speed limit of 30 mph (48 km/h) unless otherwise specified' it is a motorway and would therefore be currently illegal as well as unwise to do so.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2007 17:46 
Offline
User

Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2007 12:27
Posts: 361
jomukuk wrote:
With councils looking to save money (lower CO2 footprint etc) we will be seeing some streetlamps being removed, some being replaced with lower-light output lamps and in some places the only illumination will be at road junctions/roundabouts etc. You may not have noticed...but streetlamps are being standardised....the same tops/lamps are being used in replacements....

All the street lamps round here are being replaced with lamps that illuminate downwards only and have significantly improved the lighting of the pavements and roads. I am told they are also much cheaper to run.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2007 18:57 
Offline
User

Joined: Sun Sep 03, 2006 04:10
Posts: 3244
Yep. It avoids "light pollution".
Shortly, you will notice some are removed.
It's more efficient to light the roads, rather than the sky, but street lights still cost some 115 million a year....


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2007 19:02 
Offline
User

Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2007 12:27
Posts: 361
jomukuk wrote:
Yep. It avoids "light pollution".
Shortly, you will notice some are removed.

They have dug up old concrete posts and replaced them with the new lights. None have been 'removed'.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2007 19:21 
Offline
Friend of Safe Speed
Friend of Safe Speed

Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2004 12:01
Posts: 4813
Location: Essex
These new lights are LED-based. All this is good stuff, but just might prevent forward illumination of cars, ie, the lights will shine nicely down onto the carriageway and identify debris and, eg, rabbits. However, I am not sure if, eg, the back end of an unlit black truck with crappy reflectors would so readily be seen without headlights.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 15 posts ] 

All times are UTC [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group
[ Time : 0.225s | 11 Queries | GZIP : Off ]