A campaign group calling for a ban on powerful headlamps on British roads is taking its fight to the United States in a “rear-guard” action against European legislators, motoring.co.uk can reveal.
The Lightmare.org campaign group is to launch an e-petition on the Change.org site calling for high-powered headlamps to be banned from the roads in California.
They hope that a change in legislation in California could prompt manufacturers to end what has been described as an attempt to “out-shine” each other with increasingly brighter headlamps.
Publicity for the petition is to be funded by a £2,500 legacy left by late anti-xenon headlamp campaigner and former British cab driver Ken Perham, who died in 2012.
Mr Perham’s campaign partner Roy Milnes told motoring.co.uk that repeated attempts to fight for legislation in the UK had failed because many of the laws in this country are effectively formulated via Europe.
He said: “We now hope that by campaigning for change in California, where road safety issues of this type are taken very seriously, we can fight a rear guard action against the people who decide the laws in Europe.
“If California was to ban use of increasingly powerful headlamps, manufacturers might finally do something about it.”
Call for a ban
Almost 4,600 motorists signed a previous UK online petition calling for a ban on the headlamps which are now routinely being fitted to modern cars.
Originally fitted to more expensive vehicles, High-Intensity Discharge lights are now becoming commonplace.
While there are clear benefits for motorists whose cars are fitted with HiD or B-Xenon lights, even those who have them fitted to their own cars say that they can be dazzled by them when approaching vehicles which also use them.
Manufacturers are now starting to trial laser-powered headlamps, prompting concerns that headlamps are going to get even brighter.
Lightmare.org is a worldwide organisation backed by volunteers campaigning for an end to the use of increasingly high powered lighting on motor vehicles.
Lightmare claim that powerful headlamps could contravene the Highway Code, which states that drivers MUST NOT use any lights in a way that would dazzle or cause discomfort to other road users, including pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders.
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The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders has previously said that there is no evidence that high power lights distract drivers.
In an interview with the Sunday Times, SMMT Chief Executive Paul Everitt said that the use of lamp-levelling technology ensured that they were safe to use and said that they were particularly important on poorly lit roads to enable drivers to identify hazards.
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