Bright Idea From Down South?

4th February 2010

Right To Ride has replied to a consultation on Daytime Running Lights (DRL) from Ireland’s Road Safety Authority (RSA).

The consultation sought the views and advice of interested parties on introducing DRL measures earlier than an EC (European Commission) Directive.

The directive aimed to make dedicated DRL mandatory for all new cars and light vans from 2011. The proposed earlier introduction by RSA if implemented would mean all road vehicles on Irish roads would be required to use either dipped head lights during the hours of daylight or dedicated DRL (diode lighting).

A bright idea or is it an ill conceived experiment that “bright is always right”?

Although we are based in Northern Ireland, we believe there are issues contained in the DRL consultation that will undoubtedly affect us here too. Motorcyclists in Ireland as individuals and as a “community”, travel across North and South both for business (commuting) and leisure activities (motorcycle events such as road races – motorcycle meetings (rallies), charity runs and touring).

Right To Ride’s, Trevor Baird, said, “In our response to the RSA consultation, our main conclusion is simple – it would be unacceptable to adopt this measure for all vehicles to use dipped headlights during the hours of daylight as this would put the life of vulnerable road users, including motorcyclists, at risk.”

The initial EC approach was intended to be a technical requirement to equip all vehicles with automatic dedicated daytime running lights, coupled with a requirement for the vehicle operator to use dipped beam headlights.

There was debate and input, especially regarding the concerns of the motorcycle sector which led to the EC questioning the validity of the research on DRL and the possible negative impact of DRL on vulnerable road users.

The Federation of European Motorcyclists’ Associations (FEMA) has stated that, “The adoption of dedicated DRL appears to be the “least worse” solution in terms of road safety, even though European motorcyclists – along with pedestrians and cyclists – still have reservations regarding the fact that responsibility to watch out for other road users will be removed from the other vehicle driver.”

Although the RSA has recognized that, “it may be difficult for certain classic/collectable vehicles to have their dipped head lights turned on at all times” they have also said, “they may be outside the scope of DRL legislation.”

If this bright idea is adopted, classic or collectable motorcycles – that cannot have their dipped head lights turned on – should be exempt from having their dipped head lights turned on at all times or for any requirement to have retro fitted lighting systems (according to the RSA, this system would cost around 200 Euros for cars).

Any ban from the public roads of these motorcycles that are part of our motorcycling heritage would be discriminatory.

If we haven’t already made it clear – our opinion is that the safety of motorcyclists will be compromised with the possibility of the increase of the number and severity of collisions not only for motorcyclists but also vulnerable road users – pedestrians – cyclists – with this proposed “experiment”.

Notes

Right to Right Response to the Consultation – Click Here pdf 272kb

The Association of Drivers against Daytime Running Lights (DaDRL) response – Click Here

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) in Ireland is an Agency established to take a lead role in the area of road safety. The RSA is a body under the aegis of the Department of Transport.

The Department of Transport is responsible for implementing an integrated transport policy for Ireland overseeing activities of implementing agencies (The Road Safety Authority (RSA), the National Roads Authority (NRA) and local authorities.

www.rsa.ie

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