Dáil Éireann - Volume 407 - 17 April, 1991
Written Answers. - Daytime Use of Dimmed Headlights.
Mr. Callely Mr. Callely
229. Mr. Callely asked the Minister for the Environment if he will consider introducing legislation for all motor vehicles to keep lights on at all times during the day in an effort to improve road safety, as proven in some countries abroad.
Mr. Howlin Mr. Howlin
238. Mr. Howlin asked the Minister for the Environment if he proposes to introduce regulations making the use of daytime headlights compulsory for motor-cyclists; whether the effectiveness of this measure in reducing road accidents is supported by reliable research; if so, if he will cite the relevant authorities for this view; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Minister for the Environment (Mr. Flynn) Minister for the Environment (Mr. Flynn)
Minister for the Environment (Mr. Flynn): I propose to take Questions Nos. 229 and 238 together.
In September 1990, I announced that I proposed to make regulations requiring motor cyclists using public roads to use dimmed headlamps during daylight hours. I understand that similar statutory provisions operate in four EC member states — Federal Republic of Germany, France, Denmark and the Netherlands — and in Norway, New Zealand, Sweden and certain states in the USA.
A number of studies indicate that day time use of dimmed headlamps improves the conspicuousness of motor cycles for other road users and should help to reduce accidents. Copies of the following relevant studies have been placed in the Oireachtas Library: SAE Technical Paper Series (USA) — “Research into Motorcycle Conspicuity and its Implementation” (1990); VTI Report (Sweden) — “Daytime Running Lights A Potent Road Safety Measure?” (1988) and TRRL Paper (UK) — “Motor Cycle Conspicuity in Daylight” (1985).
Many Irish motor cyclists already display dimmed headlamps, during daylight, on a voluntary basis. The motor cyclists themselves seem convinced that this is beneficial, while not, of course, diminishing, in any way, the obligation of other road users to keep a look out for motor-cyclists, as part of their legal duty to drive with due care and attention.
The proposed regulations must be considered in the context of other measures to improve motor cycle safety which have already been taken or are under consideration, including the amended 1989 regulations on the licensing of motor cyclists; improved standards for compulsory motor cycle helmets and improved training of motorcyclists.
I have some reservations on making day time use of headlights compulsory for all motor vehicles. However, I do not propose to make any decision on this issue pending the outcome of relevant discussions planned at EC level.
Dáil Éireann 407 Written Answers. Daytime Use of Dimmed Headlights.