New vans to be equipped with daytime running lights 09 February 2011

Starting this week Monday (7 February 2011), all new types of small delivery vans and passenger cars must be equipped with daytime running lights (DRL), under Directive 2008/89/EC.

Trucks and buses will follow suit in August 2012, with the ruling requiring DRL lights to switch on automatically when the engine is started (except when driving lights are switched on in the dark) – a tribute to Volvo's vision decades ago.

The European Commission says it expects day running lights to increase road safety as they "substantially raise the visibility of motor vehicles for other road users". Modern lights are also low energy consumers compared with existing dipped-beam headlights.

"Daytime running lights will make an important contribution to our goal of reducing casualties on European roads," comments EC vice president Antonio Tajani, who looks after industry.

"This is also good news for environment protection, as the lower energy consumption rates will reduce CO2 emissions compared to normal lights."

According to recent research on DRL, all road users detect vehicles equipped with DRL more clearly and sooner than those equipped with dipped beam head lights.

Brian Tinham

Related Companies
European Commission- Joint Research Centre

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