Mandatory Headlights for cars during the daytime?
Wednesday, 25 November 2015

During the Order of Business in the Seanad, I said: In the run up to the dark days of winter, should motorists be obliged to use their headlights during the daytime? This is not that they might see ahead of them but to ensure that they are seen. It is particularly important that motorbikes are seen...

All cars in the European Union manufactured after 2011 have daytime running lights, DRLs, to improve safety. However, what about cars that were manufactured before that? In 2012, the then Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Deputy Varadkar, said that Ireland's motorists could be obliged within three years to keep their headlights on at all times in an effort to improve road safety. He said that the Road Safety Authority was likely to consider the measure by 2015. It is now almost the end of 2015 but an initiative in this regard has not been introduced.

The Road Safety Authority encourages motorists to use dimmed headlights on a voluntary basis. It believes the cost of forcing motorists to have DRLs fitted to their cars retrospectively would outweigh any safety benefits. Could motorists be required to use headlights at all times, as is the case in other countries? I have a list of the other countries where they are obliged to use them.

Studies have shown that where motorists are obliged to use their headlights at all times, it is likely to reduce accident rates by a certain percentage.

This matter is worthy of consideration and it should be brought to the attention of the current Minister, Deputy Paschal Donohoe.

We should do this because it could save lives. It would simply involve following what other countries in Europe already do.

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