General Running Lights(do they serve any purpose)

Discussion in 'Lounge & Gossip' started by MickyB, Thursday 12th Nov, 2015.


When would you use your fog lights

Poll closed Saturday 12th Dec, 2015.
  1. In fog when the visibility was below 200 metres

  2. When it was dark and they helped me to see

    0 vote(s)
  3. When it was raining

    0 vote(s)
  1. MickyB Club Veteran ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    Just a few things I've noticed recently whilst driving and just wondered about different scenarios.
    Running lights you know those LEDs that come on when you put your ignition on???
    What purpose do they serve?
    It seems to me like people think they are ok to drive on in all weather conditions. I've seen them being the only lights on on cars in Fog,rain, darkness inclement weather so my questions are this.
    What is the legality of driving on these lights, my personal take on things are that there is no change to the use of lights as stated in the Highway Code and that in inclement weather the legal requirement would be dipped headlights as for night driving.
    I've seen people driving in thick fog on running lights and Fog lights again the legal requirement is dipped headlights and fog lights.
    And just two nights ago I was passed on the M1 by a car running on these lights and after he had passed me I realised that he had NO rear lights on at all! So do they only light up at the front or what.
    My very personal opinion is that they are an extra that manufacturers have put on their cars for the look factor ie look at my new Audi that daddy bought me it's got lovely bling lights on the front but I don't know how to use them.
    So has anybody got any thoughts on these things be it the legal side of their use or anything else.
  2. Zoot Valued Contributor ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

    Scotland Ron Leeds
    @MickyB from what I've seen with all DRL's it's only the front that light up. I know on my CR-V they are lit as soon as the engine is started and when headlights are on they dim.

    Personally, I think that they do make a difference for oncoming drivers but like you some idiots think they take the place of fog lights and headlights. I am a fan of them! :gohonda:
    MickyB likes this.
  3. SpeedyGee Administrator Staff Team

    England Speedy Birmingham
    Apparently they improve awareness of other drivers to your presence. I'm not a fan of them though, so you can't spot a massive vehicle but if said vehicle had a couple of 20W bulbs lit up on the front of it then in broad day light that will make you aware of it !! PFFFFTT absolute rhubarb !!
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  4. dbrooks65 Valued Contributor ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

    Scotland Dave glasgow
    I think some DRL's make the car look cheap.

    I don't have anything against the idea of them but to spend huge sums of money designing a car with DRL's which look like a cheap afterthought is poor.
    MickyB likes this.
  5. Dave Club Veteran ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    Some cars don't dim when they indicate and it's hard to see there indicators on roundabouts (maybe as I'm sat high up in a truck most of the time) which I think is pretty dangerous. My truck has them but all the lights including the trailer ones come on and they dim when you indicate or turn your lights on.
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  6. FirstHonda Moderator Staff Team

    United Kingdom Ed Wiltshire
    Didn't Volvo and SAAB do this more than 30 years ago?!

    And they were neither as bright nor as flashy as the current DRLs...but did the same job.
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  7. exec Club Veteran ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    United Kingdom London
    yep and that was due to Sweden and other scandi countrys having less light during the day, now they have become fahsion accessories on cars, which is not bad thing depending on how you see things.
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  8. vincemince Club Veteran ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

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  9. John Dickson Club Veteran ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    I think they are one of the worst inventions ever (yet again thanks to the German car makers who've given us other rubbish like variable service intervals) You could also bring auto lights in for similar reasons. It can be thick fog but still bright enough for auto lights not to come on. Therefore you see people with no lights on in fog.

    Nothing wrong in some ways for their original intent but they are downright dangerous for the reasons @MickyB states - divvies driving in the dark, fog etc with only DRLs on. I saw some idiot on A1 in thick fog in a black Zafira with no tail lights on - because they had DRLs they thought that was enough. Someone could easily have hit them! These people always drive dark coloured cars never bright red or orange that you've still got half a chance of seeing.

    DRLs should therefore be banned on safety grounds - clueless idiots who think they will do instead of lights and the dazzle factor are reasons for starters.

    Let's be honest here. If someone doesn't know the difference between side lights, dipped beam, main beam, fog lights and when it is appropriate to use which then are they safe to and should they really be driving at all?
    - - - Updated - - -
    Just out of interest is it visibility below 200m or 100m before you can use fog lights legally?

    I always worked on 100m but I'm not saying I'm right I could well be wrong. Just interested to know that's all.
    - - - Updated - - -
    And everyone took the Mickey out of Volvo and Saab drivers at the time.

    They were a good idea bright enough to show the vehicle was there but not bright enough to be used as a substitute for the correct lighting appropriate to the conditions or dazzle everyone and blind people to the vehicle indicators.
    - - - Updated - - -
    I think the Volvo and Saab versions put the tail lights on as well.
    MickyB likes this.
  10. Nels Moderator Staff Team

    My personal view.

    Driving with side lights on does make it easier for others to see you. Perhaps insignificant on a bright sunny day, but on our cloudy dull days it's better. I do this.
    Do also remember, that not everyone has perfect vision and that includes pedestrians - especially the elderly. IIRC, Volvo and Saab did this many years ago as it did reduce accidents. (Happy to be corrected if you know better)

    'Christmas Tree' DRL's are horrible. I won't say I hate them, but they really are not needed. They actually draw your attention to them, and thus away from what you should be doing - Driving safely!

    Deliberately using fog lights when it isn't foggy is just as daft. Just don't do it and remember to turn them off when it's clear again.

    (No Emoticons were harmed in the making of this post)
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  11. MickyB Club Veteran ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    Driving with fog lights when it's not foggy carries a £60 penalty.
    Nels likes this.
  12. Nels Moderator Staff Team

    I didn't know that and I'm sure that's the same for many people.
  13. exec Club Veteran ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    United Kingdom London
    I didn't know that, I've driven with them on unintentionally a few times, went past patrols cars even and never got fined fortunately.

    I also see those Addison Lee Ford galaxy cab cars with them on very regularly.
  14. Smokingman Top Contributor ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

    United Kingdom John LN5
    In my opinion DRL's are good idea as intended. However, we all know of idiots who drive with incorrect lighting in rain, fog night time etc. Just last Sunday at night on the A14 I passed a black car driving with just side lights on, having passed him I could not see him due to the normal headlights of surrounding cars drowning out his candles.
    Would it not be better to have sidelights disabled when engine running and dedicated front and rear DRL’s as mentioned before. However drivers should know when to use the appropriate lighting for the conditions!
  15. Alexknight91 Senior Member ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆

    United Kingdom Alex Norwich
    The trouble is people see a bit of light on the floor in front of them while driving and just seem to asume that their lights are on lol
    I honestly pull up about 2/3 people a week when stuck in traffic about them lol
    Once I was on the A11 driving home at night, really bad rain and quite poor visibility nearly went in the back of some girl driving with just DRL's on, flashed her a few times and all she done was slow down lol ended up sitting behind her until we got into a built up lit area just for her own sake
  16. Bones126 Club Veteran ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    England Dave Birmingham
    Another problem with people driving with no lights on these days is that most clocks light up now as soon as you put the key into the ignition, where as in the OLD days :-/ you had to turn your lights on for the clocks to be lit up. So you see the clocks are lit up and I suppose a lot assume their lights are on,
    Last edited: Thursday 26th Nov, 2015
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  17. exec Club Veteran ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    United Kingdom London
    The roads are better lit today aswell with the street lighting.
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  18. Heckler Top Contributor ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

    If i recall correctly, daytime running lights were compulsory across Scandinavian countries due to reduced daylight hrs and in some cases days where the sun never quite rises (inside the arctic circle)... the EU have simply implemented this across the board for all EU member states to make it easier for manufacturers to streamline production. They've done this many times in the past so it's nothing new for me. I think auto levelling headlights is the latest one they've introduced.

    Also there are some things that get adopted due to US laws... take DPF fopr example, originated in California for emissions and was then adopted across the EU a few years later.
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  19. grumpyscot New Member Getting Started

    Difference was, they operated on front AND rear lights. My Volvo S40 "S" reg still had front and rear DRLs, as did my "Y" reg Saab 93