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EU plans to increase road safety through use of daytime lights.

THE EUROPEAN Commission has decided to introduce dedicated Daytime Running Light (DRL) on all new types of motor vehicles from the year 2011 onwards.

A press release from the European Commission explains that dedicated Daytime Running Lights are special lamps which are automatically switched on when the engine is started.

They substantially increase the visibility of motor vehicles to other road users, and have a low energy consumption compared to existing dipped-beam head lamps.

In countries which have already made DRL obligatory, the experience in the field of road safety is very positive.

According to a press release, Vice President Gunter Verheugen, responsible for enterprise and industry policy, said "the introduction of Daytime Running Light for cars, trucks and buses makes them more visible, which will increase road safety".

This, he noted, will make a positive contribution to our goal of reducing fatalities on European roads whilst being more fuel efficient then existing lights.

According to available research, Daytime Running Light (DRL) is important for road safety. All road users, including pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists, can detect, recognise and identify vehicles equipped with DRL, better and earlier.

The mandatory introduction of dedicated DRL was discussed in the Commission's High Level Group CARS 21 ("Competitive Automotive Regulatory System for the 21st Century") with high level executives from Member States, industry and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and got unanimous approval.

The Directive, which has been adopted, foresees that from February 2011 onwards, all new types of passenger cars and small delivery vans will have to be equipped with DRL. Trucks and buses will follow 18 months later, i.e. August 2012.

On vehicles equipped with Daytime Running Light, this light is automatically switched on when the engine is started. When it is dark the driver has to switch on the driving lights manually. In this case the DRL goes off automatically.

From an environmental point of view, dedicated daytime running light is an effective solution to improve visibility and conspicuousness of vehicles.

The energy consumption is approximately only 25 -- 30 per cent of the energy consumption of the normal driving light. When using LED (Light Emitting Diode) technology for dedicated DRL, the energy consumption is reduced to only 10 per cent.

Copyright Cyprus Mail 2008

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Publication:Cyprus Mail (Cyprus)
Date:Sep 28, 2008
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