New driving law plans would crack down on headlight issue that 'disproportionately affects' elderly motorists

New driving law plans would crack down on headlight issue that 'disproportionately affects' elderly motorists

WATCH: The panel discusses how elderly drivers are impacted by headlight glare

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 08/02/2024

- 13:28

The creator of the petition said: 'The problem has not been dealt with and I feel is getting worse'

New driving law changes could be rolled out to help deal with issues facing elderly drivers that may have already forced some people to take themselves off the road.

A petition has been launched to demand the Government reviews issues relating to car headlights to ensure all motorists on the roads are safe.

Recent research from the RAC found that eight in 10 drivers said the problem of people with bright headlights was getting worse and dazzling motorists, especially during darker hours.

A further 89 per cent of people said headlights on cars are too bright and the issue needs to be addressed so the risk of accidents is minimised.

Do you have a story you'd like to share? Get in touch by

A bright headlight and an elderly driver

One expert said elderly drivers would be 'disproportionately affected' by bright headlights


The petition is calling on the Government to launch a review into bright headlights that could impact drivers in oncoming traffic who may be unable to see clearly.

This is becoming a particular issue given the increased use of SUVs and other vehicles that sit higher, meaning instances of headlight glare could become more common.

Margaret Rutter, the creator of the petition, said the review should be conducted with car manufacturers to find a suitable solution to the problem.

The description of the petition states: “The problem has not been dealt with and I feel is getting worse.

Bright car headlights on the road

The RAC has called on the Government to introduce rules cracking down on bright headlights


“Nearly every driver I speak to agrees with me that it is a problem for them too.”

The petition has already garnered almost 2,800 signatures and could soon approach the 10,000-signature threshold required to get the Government to respond.

In the event that the petition gets 100,000 signatures, it will be considered for debate in Parliament.

More cars are also fitted with LED headlights which create a more intense and focused beam rather than the traditional “yellower” halogen bulb.

Mike Bowen, Director of Knowledge and Research at the College of Optometrists, highlighted how elderly drivers would be “disproportionately affected” by headlight glare.

He added: “We urge the Government to commission more technical and clinical research to have a better understanding of this issue and what should be done to ease the effects of dazzling headlights.”

Similarly, Baroness Hayter, has spoken at length about the issue of headlight glare, bringing the subject up in the House of Lords, most recently in May 2023.

She said: “[The] Government should take action now to be on the side of road safety and ensure everyone keeps to the Highway Code, which states drivers ‘must not use any lights in a way which would dazzle other road users’.”


The petition

The Government will respond to the petition once it reaches 10,000 signatures


The measures set out by the RAC have also been backed by IAM RoadSmart and other motoring organisations.

You may like