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The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation

Govt plans to independently research headlamp glare

Date: Thursday 04 April 2024

The Government has responded to a petition by a member of the public to review the brightness of car headlights for safety reasons and stated its intention to commission independent research, which IAAF intends to be part of.

Margaret Rutter said the "Government should launch a review into the problem of some headlights causing oncoming traffic drivers to be unable to see clearly and safely. The review should be conducted with car manufacturers to find solutions."

The petition has so far achieved more than 12000 signatures and the government has responded saying it "has taken action internationally to address concerns raised about headlamp glare. Recognising the need for further evidence, we intend to commission independent research shortly."

The government response in full is below:

All vehicle headlamps are designed and tested to follow international standards to ensure that they are both bright enough to illuminate the road but don’t affect the vision of other road users. The standards define the beam pattern and include maximum and minimum light intensities. We know that lots of people raise concerns about headlight glare – but also that the police collision statistics don’t show any underlying road safety issue.

Because of that lack of evidence, the Department for Transport (DfT) raised the issue at the United Nations international expert group on vehicle lighting. Proposals to amend headlamp aiming rules were agreed in April 2023, together with requirements for mandatory automatic headlamp levelling which automatically corrects the aim of the headlamps based on the loading of the vehicle e.g. when passengers are sat on the back seat or there is luggage in the boot.

The transitional provisions permit sufficient time for vehicle manufacturers to redesign their products and adapt the manufacturing process, with the tighter tolerances expected to come into effect in September 2027.

Once implemented, these tougher requirements will help alleviate the number of cases where road users are dazzled. In addition, the DfT also plans to commission independent research to better understand the root causes of driver glare and identify any further appropriate mitigations.