Making dark visors legal is now up to you

Published: 07 January 2002

Act now if you want dark visors made legal. The latest report we brought you just before Christmas could be banging the final nails home. Your rapid response could be all that is between us and the lid being slammed air-tight shut.

That’s because the report plays right into the Government’s hands and reads as if it was prepared to trot out the preferred Government line, according to visor expert Alan Goodman.

The Institute of Consumer Ergonomics (ICE) report says we shouldn’t be allowed to use dark visors because (and they are being serious) they are dangerous at night.

Goodman, who left BSI in 1996 but who remains a member of the committee which sets the BSI rules on visors, is accusing ICE of reaching its conclusion just to keep the Government happy.

He said: " There’s no doubt about it. The wording is what the Government wanted to see.

" That report was done from the Government’s point of view, which has always been about visors being misused, by people wearing them at night. The report is a nonsense.

" Driving a car at night without headlights is a specific offence, as it should be to wear a dark visor at night. "

The ICE report is not the final word on the dark visor issue as the Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions is launching a public consultation, starting in March.

It is considering three options: maintain the current law, which says a visor must let in more than 50 per cent of light; let us have slightly darker ones or allow proper dark visors.

But Goodman, who rides a Honda Hornet 600, fears the public consultation is merely a delaying tactic and that the Government has already made up its mind to stick with the current law and that it will use the ICE report to back its position.

Legalising them would mean dark visors would then be subject to BSI tests.

Dean Southall, who oversaw the ICE project, said: " Our report was objective and scientific with no axe to grind. I find the statement that it was done to keep the Government happy offensive. "

Goodman believes the only hope for dark visors to become legal is to keep piling pressure on the Government so they realise the depth of public feeling on the issue.

You can play your part too, by writing to Bheena Natarajan at the Vehicle Standards and Engineering Branch, Great Minster House, 76 Marsham Street, London SW1P 4DR and requesting a copy of the consultation document.