Caught in the glare

Media Replies 28 May 2008 Road Traffic Act (RTA)

I refer to Ms Amy Tan-Morel's letter "Much ado about headlights" (TODAY, 16 May 2008).

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) requires all designs of vehicle lamps, including vehicle fog lamps and headlamps, to comply with the Road Traffic (Motor Vehicles, Lighting) Rules. These lamps must bear approved markings to show that they comply with internationally recognised standards, such as those adopted in the European Union countries, Japan and the United States. The lights must also conform to their illuminated colour and intensity.

Fog lamps and High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlamps are allowed to be installed on vehicles if they comply with requisite safety standards. Fog lamps should only be used during adverse weather conditions which result in reduced visibility, such as during heavy downpour and in hazy conditions.

LTA's enforcement officers have been advising motorists on the proper use of fog lamps. In 2006 and 2007, more than 800 drivers were warned for switching on their fog lamps indiscriminately. The LTA will continue to educate motorists on the proper use of fog lamps and take more stringent enforcement action if necessary.

The use of HID headlamps is a technological trend in the automotive industry. HID headlamps are allowed to be fitted on vehicles registered here as they not only meet the relevant safety standards but are also more energy efficient and can improve the visibility of drivers as compared with standard halogen lamps. As such headlamps are brighter they tend to cause glare. In view of this and with the advancement in technology to reduce the glare caused by such headlamps, all new vehicles fitted with HID headlamps registered from 1 January 2010 will have to be equipped with an auto-levelling feature.

The auto-levelling feature will help to reduce glare to drivers of oncoming vehicles without compromising the improved visibility these headlamps offer to drivers

We thank Ms Tan-Morel for sharing her view.


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