Turn on Your Lights!

Headlight SwitchIt's not often that I write about vehicles having too few lights illuminated. Too many, the wrong colour, using them in improper circumstances, yes, but everyone knows that they need to turn their lights on when it is dark or visibility is poor, right? Not so according to many e-mails sent to DriveSmartBC when daylight is in short supply.

Most people observe that daytime running lights usually only illuminate the front of the vehicle. A driver sees the light from their vehicle ahead of them as well as their dash lights and forget that there are no tail lights on behind. If you don't reach down and turn on the headlights yourself the rear of your vehicle will remain dark, putting you and others at risk.

The next most frequent suggestion is that manufacturers should make all of the lights come on to prevent this from happening. I think that this is happening as more and more newer vehicles have an automatic setting for the exterior lights. All lights are illuminated when a sensor detects insufficient light around the vehicle. It's no help to those of us who own older vehicles though.

If you don't have automatic lighting, remember that you must turn on your vehicle's lights between 1/2 hour after sunset and 1/2 hour before sunrise. If atmospheric conditions are unfavourable or light levels are low you must turn on the exterior lights until conditions improve. Proper maintenance and use of lights are critical to safe driving.

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Vehicle Lighting

Thanks for this important message, Tim. It is surely one that many people will appreciate and others should read. What is the law concerning disabling the automatic headlights used as daytime running lights for better identification of vehicles in daylight conditions? There are more 'newer' vehicles on the road with the DRLs not working. Is there something that can be done about this from an enforcement point of view?


Yes, something may be done about those who no longer have functional daytime running lights on vehicles that require them.

Vehicle lighting

I see this alot where as people drive with their daylight running lights on only, when it is still dark, foggy and in snowy conditions. I do notice the RCMP forget to turn their headlights on in poor conditions, someone should maybe tell them that police cars or at least the ones I see have no daylight running lights.

Officer Oversight

Police vehicles have override switches for DRLs so that they can approach at night without announcing themselves. If the DRLs are not running normally in other situations it is because the officer has failed to set the override properly.

Vehicle Lighting

I turn my lights on every drive, day or night & regaurdless of weather. And no I rarely have to change any of my bulbs on my car/4x4 or semi or trailers, and I have done this for close to 40 years now.

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