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Daytime car lights to be mandatory

11 February 2008

All new cars are to be fitted with automatic daytime headlights within four years as the UK Government falls into line with a European Union directive.

Historically the Government has opposed the idea on the grounds that using lights in the daytime would increase fuel consumption and emissions. However, it has now conceded that it is unable to oppose the EU legislation.

Responding to a Parliamentary question, Road Safety Minister Jim Fitzpatrick said: “The UK has been successful in arguing against the introduction of mandatory use of dipped headlamps during daylight hours by drivers of existing vehicles.

“However, from early 2011 all new types of passenger cars and light vans will have to be fitted with dedicated daytime running lamps in accordance with the relevant European directive. By summer 2012, all new vehicles will have to be so fitted.”

The European Commission says that the lights increase fuel consumption by only 0.3% because they use separate bulbs that are less bright than headlights. (Sunday Telegraph: February 10).

Full details here.