New motoring rule update will address 'real problem' of dazzling headlights in 'victory for all drivers'

New motoring rule update will address 'real problem' of dazzling headlights in 'victory for all drivers'

WATCH: Bev Turner on bright headlights

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 02/04/2024

- 13:26

One expert said they were 'delighted' to see that the Government has recognised the problem

Further research will be conducted into headlight glare after drivers complained that they were being dazzled at night because of bright bulbs, with experts supporting the move.

More than eight in 10 motorists believe the problem of dazzling headlights is getting worse, prompting the Government to commission an independent study into the issue.

A petition launched by Margaret Rutter reached 10,000 signatures, prompting the Department for Transport to respond, stating that tighter tolerances for vehicle manufacturers are set to be introduced in September 2027.

The RAC, the College of Optometrists, Baroness Hayter and other key industry players have backed the cause, saying there was an extra need for further evidence about headlight glare.

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Car headlight

The Department for Transport is set to launch a review of dazzling headlights


It is hoped that the research will help the Department for Transport better understand the issue and look at ways of mitigating the issue, if possible.

The petition called on the Government to launch a review to address issues facing drivers being unable to see the road ahead, which could have a huge impact on road safety.

Data from the RAC found that 67 per cent of dazzled drivers are forced to slow down considerably, while 64 per cent believe some headlights are so bright they risk causing an accident.

Rod Dennis, road safety spokesperson for the RAC, said the review was a “real turning point” and was pleased that the topic had “struck a chord with motorists”.

He added: “An independent study provides a golden opportunity for the Government and industry to get to the bottom of the problem, identify the factors involved and map out a way forward.

“We’re aware of regulatory changes being made at an international level that will hopefully make a difference in many years to come, but are concerned that these alone may not be enough to address headlight dazzle.”

The expert highlighted how road casualty data could not accurately show how many accidents were caused as a result of bright headlights.

The new rules set for 2027 will see new cars have mandatory automatic headlight levelling based on the weight being carried.

It was approved by the United Nations in April last year, with the DfT saying the measures would “alleviate the number of cases where road users are dazzled”.

Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town also praised the new measures, saying they would go a long way to help boost road safety up and down the country.

She said: “This is a victory for all those drivers affected by glare who’ve complained to their MP, signed the parliamentary petition, or indeed sought help from an optometrist – only to discover the problem was with headlights, and not their eyes.

“This is an issue the RAC has long campaigned on and I am delighted the Government has recognised there is a real problem. We look forward to discussing its research in due course.”


Bright headlights

New headlight regulations will be introduced in 2027


Research suggests that since 2013, there have been an average of 280 collisions on British roads every year where dazzling headlights were a contributing factor.

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