BMF blasts daytime lights laws

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The BMF has slammed a European Commission decision to fit daytime running lights (DRLs) to all new cars from 2011, claiming the move will make it harder to spot motorcycles.

New laws introduced on Wednesday will require all cars and small vans made from February 2011 onwards to be fitted with dedicated DRLs, which would come on automatically when the engine is started. Trucks and buses would follow in August 2012.

“We’ve been told for years that motorcyclists should ride with headlights on, so that they can be more easily seen. Now we’re simply going to be a pin prick in a sea of light,” a BMF spokesman told MCN.

The EC originally considered making all new cars use dipped-beam headlights during the day, but backed away from the plan due to concerns over increased energy consumption. DRL’s are small lamps or LEDs that would consume 25-30% less energy than low-beam lights and the EC believes they will improve road safety by making it easier to spot vehicles.

A spokeswoman for the UK’s Department for Transport says the move should not make the roads more dangerous for bikers. “DRLs operate at a lower wattage than dipped headlights, so we believe bikes will still stand out.”

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Michael Carroll

By Michael Carroll