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Daytime running lights required

7 February 2011

From today (7 February), all new types of passenger cars and delivery vans will have to be equipped with daytime running lights (DRL).

DRL are designed to improve road safety by making it easier to spot oncoming traffic. They switch on automatically when the engine starts and turn off when the engine stops or the headlamps are turned on.

In a statement the European Commission said, “According to recent research on DRL, road users, including pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists can detect vehicles equipped with DRL more clearly and sooner than those equipped with dipped beam head lights.”

Research-based legislation that increases safety is welcome, and evidence, including that from the Department for Transport and European Transport Safety Council, shows that DRL are a benefit.

However, there are some valid concerns about the effects of DRL on other road users, which cannot be ignored. Government needs to respond by addressing these issues and allaying fears.

Legislation requiring DRL in all new types of trucks and buses comes in in August 2012.