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Daytime running lights for all new vehicles from 2011

21 October 2008

All new vehicles will be equipped with dedicated daytime running lights from 2011 to increase road safety, the European Commission has decided.

Dedicated daytime running lights are special lamps which are automatically switched on when the engine is started. They substantially increase the visibility of motor vehicles to other road users, and have a low energy consumption compared to existing dipped-beam head lamps.

Commission vice president Günter Verheugen, responsible for enterprise and industry policy, said: “The introduction of daytime running lights for cars, trucks and buses makes them more visible, which will increase road safety. This will make a positive contribution to our goal of reducing fatalities on European roads whilst being more fuel efficient then existing lights.”

The directive adopted by the EC foresees that from February 7, 2011 onwards all new types of cars and small delivery vans will have to be equipped with daytime running lights. Trucks and buses will follow 18 months later in August 2012.

On vehicles equipped with daytime running lights, the lights are automatically switched on when the engine is started. When it is dark the driver has to switch on the driving lights manually. In this case the daytime running lights go off automatically.