Government report says ban on dark visors should stay

Published: 16 December 2001

Dark visors should remain banned from UK roads because we can’t be trusted to work out for ourselves that we should switch them for clear ones when the sun goes down.

That’s how a Government-commissioned report sees things after keeping us waiting for its findings for more than a year.

The Institute of Consumer Ergonomics (ICE) has finally been allowed to make its report public, today (December 19, 2001).

It says that dark visors restrict vision at night – we could have saved them time on that one – and that means we should not be allowed to use them at all.

We reckon its like banning cars from night use in case the driver forgets to put the headlights on (they’ll have us all driving Volvos next).

The one concession is that we can safely use slightly darker visors than we have at the moment. Currently, a visor has to let in 50 per cent of light or more to be legal – and more than 80 per cent of light if it’s to be used in the dark.

But the ICE report says visors which let in as little as 33.4 per cent of light can be used safely – day OR night.

Race visors, which many of us use to deal with the glare of bright days, let in just over half that amount of light: 18 per cent. OK, we admit, they look cool, but they also improve the amount you can see (and therefore your safety) in sunny conditions.

But there is still hope. This latest report isn’t going straight to the rubber-stamping stage.

The Department of Local Government, Transport and the Regions (DTLR) is giving everyone time to digest the recommendations before launching a public consultation in March.

A DTLR spokesman said: " The consultation process will take several months. "

When that kicks off, that will be your chance to have your say. Rest assured we’ll bring you full details of how to do that most effectively as soon as we have them.

Meanwhile, tell us what you think by following the link to our Talk News bulletin board, right.