Petition Review the brightness of car headlights for safety

The Government should launch a review into the problem of some headlights causing oncoming traffic drivers to be unable to see clearly and safely. The review should be conducted with car manufacturers to find solutions.

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The RAC raised this issue as far back as 2018 and its recent study showed that nine-in-10 drivers think some or most car headlights on the UK’s roads are too bright. Government data shows that there are around 300 collisions every year where dazzling headlights are a factor. The problem has not been dealt with and I feel is getting worse. Nearly every driver I speak to agrees with me that it is a problem for them too.”

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Government responded

This response was given on 27 March 2024

The Government has taken action internationally to address concerns raised about headlamp glare. Recognising the need for further evidence, we intend to commission independent research shortly.

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All vehicle headlamps are designed and tested to follow international standards to ensure that they are both bright enough to illuminate the road but don’t affect the vision of other road users. The standards define the beam pattern and include maximum and minimum light intensities. We know that lots of people raise concerns about headlight glare – but also that the police collision statistics don’t show any underlying road safety issue.

Because of that lack of evidence, the Department for Transport (DfT) raised the issue at the United Nations international expert group on vehicle lighting. Proposals to amend headlamp aiming rules were agreed in April 2023, together with requirements for mandatory automatic headlamp levelling which automatically corrects the aim of the headlamps based on the loading of the vehicle e.g. when passengers are sat on the back seat or there is luggage in the boot.

The transitional provisions permit sufficient time for vehicle manufacturers to redesign their products and adapt the manufacturing process, with the tighter tolerances expected to come into effect in September 2027.

Once implemented, these tougher requirements will help alleviate the number of cases where road users are dazzled. In addition, the DfT also plans to commission independent research to better understand the root causes of driver glare and identify any further appropriate mitigations.

Department for Transport

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