Berlin asks motorists to use lights in daytime
14 September 2005, BERLIN - German motorists were asked Wednesday to voluntarily use their headlights in the daytime starting October 1 so as to make cars more visible, although it may be years before daytime lighting becomes mandatory.
14 September 2005
BERLIN - German motorists were asked Wednesday to voluntarily use their headlights in the daytime starting October 1 so as to make cars more visible, although it may be years before daytime lighting becomes mandatory.
German Transport Minister Manfred Stolpe said in Berlin, "A car with the headlights on is easier to recognize in the daytime than one without. So daytime lighting can prevent a large number of accidents. That's what a study that I ordered proved."
Although Stolpe is on the verge of losing his post - Germany is holding a general election on September 18 - he said he had instructed officials to join a campaign for mandatory daytime lighting in western Europe.
Daytime use of headlights is mandatory in Scandinavian nations for all vehicles and for motorcycles in Germany, but Berlin has wavered. France and Austria are among nations that have introduced voluntary daytime lighting. The lights must be dipped so they do not dazzle.
The German car industry has said it would rather wait for an international ruling before re-wiring new cars so that special energy-saving headlights come on whenever the engine starts.
Stolpe said Germany would request that the U.N. Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) in Geneva draft a new technical rule for new cars, which could then be adopted by the European Union, but "years will go by till then".
He invited motorists in Germany to switch on en masse from next month. Germany's biggest organization of motorists, the ADAC, welcomed Stolpe's support for daytime lighting, but cautioned against any requirement that existing cars must be re-wired.
Although car generators must create extra electricity for the lights, Stolpe said fuel consumption would not rise because of new lamp technology.
Subject: German news