VIEWPOINT - Problems with Headlights

SoapboxHave car headlights, beams, power, brightness gotten out of control in terms of what is allowed legally on the road, if there ever were any rules?

Are truck drivers and other cars, like SUV’s that sit high off the road aware of the power of their headlight on smaller cars due to the height of the car beams?

I also notice quite a few cars with only one headlight working!  Coming along a dark two lane road at night, I could easily think the oncoming vehicle is a motorbike, and crunch!

In the good old days (when was this??) the police used to do a lot of broken headlight stopping and issue tickets – has this gone by the wayside these days?

Comments

Seconded. Truck/SUV headlight

Seconded.

Truck/SUV headlight - Dodge is the biggest offender - I regularly have to cover my driver mirror with a hand when standing in front of such monstrosity.

Custom headlights - unenforced, illegal and unnecessary. But also painful, dazzling and distracting - especially the blue-ish.

Custom ground-lighting--effects, custom license plate lights, additional blue LED's and non-stock "light bars" in the bumper - all a regular occurrence, easily spotted, distracting and sometimes confusing.

Answer

A lot of people would agree with you. When I make a group presentation this is among the first questions asked. There are rules, both in the federal Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations and the provincial Motor Vehicle Act Regulations in general and respectively Standard 108 and Division 4. Ultimately, Transport Canada is responsible for the overall rules on how your vehicle's lights will be installed and function.

Transport Canada seems to blame poorly aimed headlights and improper aftermarket equipment for the issue:

Headlamps using new technologies can light the road further ahead of the vehicle. These lamps meet the same brightness and antiglare standards as any past headlamp. Levels of glare light are kept to the same values that were set in the late 1970s. However, these newer lamps may create more discomfort glare than older ones when they are not properly aimed.

Keeping the headlamp lens clean is also very important. Dust and road grime on the lens will scatter the light, create glare and reduce the forward lighting you need.

Having a clean windshield inside and out will also help reduce unwanted glare from oncoming vehicles. Dust, moisture and stone chips will scatter light, create veiling glare and obscure the forward vision of the driver.

Transport Canada is working with the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Society of Automotive Engineers to set common standards for motor vehicle lighting throughout North America. Canada under the United Nations, is leading an international group of experts on motor vehicle lighting to create international safety regulations.

If you did want to complain, Transport Canada is the agency to complain to.

Are other drivers aware? Maybe. There are some that care, some that don't and some don't even think far enough ahead to realize that there might be something that they should care about.

I would imagine that the police still do equipment enforcement, but I suspect that it is less than in years past. Their focus these days appears to be on high risk driving behaviours and I'm not sure that one headlight not working meets this criteria.

Articles on this site related to headlights.

Law enforcement need to complain on our behalf

It would be prudent if law enforcment and insurance companies complain to Transport Canada. It certainly would carry a lot more weight than that from the general public, especially since Transport Canada is Federally funded, like the RCMP (for the most part). Failing that, I feel it should be up to each province to setup their own guidelines in allowing (or not) these terribly bright headlights.

Brighter headlights and more glare than usual?

Seemingly after the time change back in November, I am noticing headlights that are much brighter than before. I am not talking about the Xeon or purplish white headlights you see on the high end vehicles, rather the normal light yellow headlights.  I noticed most vehicle's headlights have a brigher intensity and seem to be more in my eyes than before.

I somehow don't think that for the most part the headlights are custom  installed?  However, I could be wrong. Maybe it's just age? crying

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