HC Deb 22 December 1983 vol 51 cc400-1W
Mr. Waller

asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he has decided to proceed with regulations to require dim-dip lighting devices to be fitted to new cars.

Mrs. Chalker

Yes. My right hon. Friend has today laid regulations that will require dim-dip devices, or lamps with similar effect on motor vehicles manufactured from 1 October 1986. This follows the circulation of draft proposals a year ago, which received widespread support from road user organisations, safety and lighting experts.

The regulations will not affect the lighting controls on the driver's dashboard, or his responsibility for using dipped headlamps where he needs to illuminate the road ahead, or signal his presence in fog. But they will make it impossible to drive with sidelights alone—the latter will operate by themselves only when the ignition is switched off. They also give the option of using bright and conspicuous lamps, without the risk of dazzlng other road users, in conditions such as well-lit streets at night, dull weather or twilight. As more and more vehicles become equipped in this way, the general level of conspicuity of moving vehicles will improve and it will become easier to pick out hazards in lit streets.

The regulations will not apply to motor cycles. However, in view of representations that they should be included in the requirements, while at the same time bearing in mind their special need to be as visible as possible, I have asked the Transport and Road Research Laboratory to consider preparing a suitable technical specification as a part of its research programme on motor cycle safety.