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Cars in EU to be fitted with daytime lights

25 September 2008

BRUSSELS — All new cars, buses and trucks sold in the European Union will have to be fitted with daytime lights as from 2011, the European Commission said Wednesday.

The decision follows studies which show that Daytime Running Lights (DRL) can help improve road safety by increasing visibility.

DRLs are automatically switched on when the engine is started. Because they consume low amounts of energy – around 30 percent less than normal driving lights – they are considered to be environmentally friendly.

Scandinavian countries were among the first to introduce mandatory daytime lights for cars, and their experience shows that their effect on road safety is "very positive", officials in Brussels said.

"The introduction of Daytime Running Light for cars, trucks and buses … will make a positive contribution to our goal of reducing fatalities on European roads whilst being more fuel efficient then existing lights," said Gunter Verheugen, the EU’s enterprise and industry commissioner.

The aim is to have daytime lights on new cars and small vans from February 2011, and on lorries and buses from August 2012.

In May, the commission proposed fitting all new cars with high-tech stabilising, braking and safety-warning systems as of 2012.

Both initiatives are designed to improve road safety and help the EU meet its target of halving the number of road casualties – currently at about 40,000 per year – by 2010.

[dpa / Expatica]