Position Statement – Daytime Running Lights

It is currently being proposed that the Australian Design Rules (ADRs) be changed so all new cars are fitted with Daytime Running Lights.

Priority:- Medium

Where we are now:-

The proposal to change the Australian Design Rules so cars are fitted with Daytime Running Lights follow similar proposals in Europe. The benefits of such a proposal are based on research that has been conducted in Europe and the USA where lighting conditions are not as bright as they are in Australia.

As a result of the brighter conditions in Australia, the expected benefits of DRLs for cars may not be realised. This view is supported by the experience with automatic ‘headlights on’ for motorcycles. ADR 19 was changed in 1992 so new motorcycles were fitted with automatic ‘highlights on’ but this requirement was made optional in 1997 after research was not able establish that there was a benefit.

If no benefit could be established for automatic ‘headlights on’ for motorcycles, similarly there may be no benefit in having DRLs for cars.

There is some concern that if cars are fitted with DRLs that motorcycles will be lost in a ‘sea of lights’ increasing the number Sorry Mate I Didn’t See You (SMIDSY) crashes where drivers miss seeing a motorcycle.

Where we want to be:-

That any introduction of DRLs for cars has no adverse effect on motorcycle safety.

How to get there:-

Keep a watching brief on developments.

Encourage the Australian Motorcycle Council to keep a watching brief on developments