The Road Safety Authority (RSA) is advising drivers, today 19th November 2006, to check that all lights on their vehicles are in good working order. They are also being asked to turn off fog lights when driving in good weather and to repair faulty vehicle lights without delay.

In issuing the advice Mr. Noel Brett, Chief Executive, RSA, singled out the problem of fog lights, "front or rear fog lights must not be used unless visibility is seriously reduced. In clear weather they are liable to cause glare or dazzle other road users and can make it difficult to see your break lights."

Highlighting the growing use of front fog lights by drivers Mr Brett said that "Many drivers seem to be under the impression that front fog lights are car spot lights. They are not, they are fog lights and front fog lights can be just as dazzling as rear ones. For example they can cause a dazzling reflection when driving on wet roads. They also create a pool of light on the ground immediately in front of a vehicle which a driver can have difficulty seeing past."

Focusing on the problem of broken headlamps on vehicles Mr Brett said. "Vehicles with a broken headlamp can easily be mistaken for motorcyclists. A driver mistaking a car for a motorcyclist can result in devastating consequences. I would urge drivers to check their headlamps and if broken, repair them without delay."

He also added that, "While the National Car Test is helping to greatly reduce the incidence of faulty lights in vehicles they do need to be checked regularly."

"To be effective headlamps, stop lights, indicators, number plate lighting and reflectors should be kept clean and in good working order at all times. So I would ask drivers, perhaps over this weekend, to park their vehicle away from traffic and ask a family member or friend to observe each light as you activate it. If you discover a problem, repair it without delay before bringing the vehicle onto the road again."

In good driving conditions the headlamps in the average car enable the driver to see for about 100 metres on an unlit road and for about 30 metres on dipped headlamps. Rear red lamps are necessary to warn following traffic. Enhanced red lamps should only be used in dense fog, falling snow or heavy rain conditions and never during ordinary visibility when they tend to blind traffic approaching from the rear.

Ends For further information contact: Brian Farrell, Communications Manager, Road Safety Authority, Tel: 086 - 3881009 Or Ger Kenny, Carr Communications, 087 - 2488393

Editors Note
Lamps and Reflectors: A vehicle must be equipped with the following.

  • Two headlamps to the front
  • Two white front sidelights
  • Two red rear lamps
  • Two red stop lamps
  • Two red rear reflectors
  • Number plate lighting at the rear
  • Direction indicators to the front and rear (which must be amber in colour)

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