anti DRL campaign is supported by the
British Motorcyclists Federation (BMF), the
Motorcycle Action Group and the
Federation of European Motorcyclists Associations (FEMA). In
2002 they succeeded in uniting EU pedestrian and bicyclist
organisations. Collectively, they prevented the EU vehicle
manufacturers association (ACEA) from introducing motorcar daytime
running lights see
FEMA press release (62kb pdf).
MAG Belguium have published a Dossier detailing opposition to Daytime
Motorcycle Action Group
published an authoritative response which debunks the EC case for
Also see Northern Irelands
excellent well researched submission to Ireland's RSA Consultation
January 2010 by Write to Ride
Wow! - I didn't see that biker coming past!
The Times 20 September
Paris: Motorcyclists across France demonstrated against
an attempt to get car drivers to turn on headlights during daytime in
winter as a safety measure. Motorcyclists who already turn on
their headlights in the day, say they will be harder to distinguish.
See the current state of opposition to DRL in France at www.ffmc.asso.fr
In the USA where DRL are used, we have reports of drivers turning mirrors out of alignment due to constant
glare, thus road safety is compromised. Increasing numbers of SUV
4x4 vehicles with high mounted headlights pose a particular problem.
The UK Highway Code and the Driving Test emphasize that
good use of mirrors is an essential safety requirement. If a
car using DRL is filling a driver's mirrors, the intermittent glare
is distracting and limits rearward vision past that vehicle.
DRL are not a solution due in high traffic densities
and DRL particularly put motorcyclists at risk due to reduced
Comment from the British Motorcyclists Federation on DRL
Trevor Magner is the
British Motorcyclists Federation's professional lobbyist, a practising
motorcyclist, scientifically trained and with many years experience in
the field of practical technology. He comments on the use of daytime
I list some of the
reasons why daytime headlight use or day running lights are not a good
idea for powered two-wheelers. Neither do I regard them as of value for
Studies of lights on
laws have been demonstrated by the BMF's Research Officer, Stephen
Prower to have failed to demonstrate a safety benefit. Those that have
claimed a fall in accidents have been shown to be flawed, e.g. the
reduction in accidents in Scandinavia was due to fewer collisions with
elks and in Austria, the fall in accidents was at night.
The onus should be put on other road users to look rather than
motorcyclists to imitate Christmas trees.
Risk compensation - riders with lights on are more likely to assume
that the other drivers can see them. They are no substitute for
headlight turns a 3-dimensional motorcycle into a 1-dimensional spot
of light making its distance and speed hard to estimate.
Going over a bump in the road can give the appearance of flashing
the headlight confusing other road users.
Daytime lights can obscure turn signals.
Daytime lights (from bikes and cars) can obscure pedestrians and
Road users' search patterns have been shown to be attuned to looking
for particular shapes rather than lights.
all motorcycles used daytime lights, other road users would get used to
them and 'not see' them again.
Positioning on the road is more significant than conspicuity
measures used by riders in terms of being seen.
The angle from head on at which an illuminated headlight can be
observed is severely limited.
Having an illuminated headlight bouncing up and down in your rear
view mirror is extremely irritating.
I should add that I
ride a motorcycle regularly and do not use my lights unless the
conditions warrant it. Riding with lights on all the time is a
form of crying wolf and detracts from their use when they are really
needed. I suggest that the use of daytime lights should be
discretionary and that riders and drivers should be educated on when
it's best to use them.
Please also see "Answers
to six points that are frequently put forward in favour of motorcycle
Motorcycle Action Group - Euro Conspicuity Project Fuels Concern on
Concern that bikes
aren't visible enough has prompted The European Commission (EC) to
launch a research project. This was the subject of a preliminary meeting
held on October 12th and organised by ACEM (European Motorcycle
Manufacturers' Association). FEMA was present, other participants
included experts from a number of research authorities and institutes
with motorcycle safety interests. The outline of this project will be to
identify what makes motorcycles less conspicuous and how they can be
overlooked. When the cause has been identified, potential devices or
measures will be proposed and their effects measured with a methodology
developed in the same project. The feasibility of implementing such
measures will then be assessed in terms of acceptance by the market,
reliability and costs. The final step will be to verify the
cost-effectiveness of the proposed solutions and assess introduction
MAG opposes the
introduction of mandatory daytime headlight use by motorcyclists on the
grounds that such measure reflects a poor understanding of the problem
and represents an unfair shift in the onus of responsibility from
motorist to rider. MAG believe that the
solution to the 'didn't see you' accidents lies in the exercise of
greater care by all parties.
MAG Press Officer
Ian Mutch: 'We fear that the boffins may be looking at more ways to make
names for themselves with costly research and repressive legislation
when a little common sense is all that is required.'
MAG Press Office Tel
0208 556 6495 MAG Central 0870 444 8448