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Thread: Daytime REAR running lights to be mandated in Canada in 2021

  1. #1

    Default Daytime REAR running lights to be mandated in Canada in 2021

    Well, either rear lights that come on with the car, or automatic tail lights at dusk. Here's a TTAC article, but unfortunately without a link to Transport Canada.

    http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/201.../#more-1618090

  2. #2

    Default Re: Daytime REAR running lights to be mandated in Canada in 2021

    There was an in-depth article in DrivingVisionNews last October which looked at the three proposed fixes and had this to say (this is a small clip from a large article I don't own the copyright to):

    Transport Canada in February 2016 proposed three possible solutions:
    • Fully-automatic light management wherein the vehicle switches from DRLs to full headlamps with position lights at a certain ambient light threshold, or
    • Have the tail lights lit with the DRLs, or
    • Not illuminate the dashboard unless the headlights are on.

    UN Regulation 48 (Rev 12) sections 6.2.7.6–6.2.7.7 already contains these provisions, but UN R48 is not in force in Canada. Are they reasonably adequate provisions? The first one is; the other two are not. Here's why: The always-lit dashboard is not likely to go away any time soon; today's instrument panels are far too integral to the vehicle's general controls (HVAC, sound system, etc) to render them invisible until the driver switches on the lights. Besides, this would aggravate a problem that's existed for decades: faced with a dark dashboard, thoughtless drivers slap at the headlight switch until the dashboard lights up. That's the front and rear position lights and sidemarkers, not the headlamps. Unfortunately, North American regulations are written such that the dashboard must illuminate when the position lights are lit, and the DRLs must not extinguish unless the headlamps are switched on. So the driver gropes at the headlight switch to light the dashboard, giving position lights plus DRLs. Better than total darkness to sides and rear, but still inadequate for the driver (and the pedestrians on the route) and dangerously glaring to other drivers.

    Having the tail and sidemarker lights lit with the DRLs amounts to the same thing but without the driver's lackadaisical sweeps at the headlight switch: a perfect recipe for a sharp increase in cars driving round at night with tail and sidemarker lights (good) and DRLs (bad), and even stronger false signal to the driver that the car has "automatic lights".

    One might reasonably object to the notion of figuratively wiping the driver's nose, assuming that anyone enough of an adult to earn a driving licence should be expected to operate a motorcar correctly. That's a fair point, but here's another: correct user interface design calls for making correct operation of the machine as intuitive as possible—the path of least resistance, requiring less thought and effort to get right than to get wrong.

    So the right way to solve the problem without creating new ones is to remove the driver completely from the task. The car activates daytime lights in the daytime, nighttime lights after dark. The technology to do this is simple, cheap, and reliable; we've had it for many years. All that stands in the way is automaker desire to monetise every last little bit of the car that isn't strictly required by law. That is a simple fact of automakers' fiduciary responsibilities to their shareholders, and that is why automatic lights are the only reasonable, rational, realistic solution.
    Last edited by -Virgil-; 03-22-2018 at 05:49 PM.

  3. #3
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: Daytime REAR running lights to be mandated in Canada in 2021

    In certain conditions, rear DRLs in the form of having the tail lamps lit will make the stop signal less noticeable; a change from one intensity (dim) to another (bright) in broad daylight is less noticeable than a change from off to bright. I'm not sold on rear DRLs, in most (if not ALL) states it's on the following driver to not rear-end the car they're following. And in the daytime it seems we shouldn't need much help seeing a car moving away from us. There MIGHT be a logical reason in some conditions, wherein you're following a car headed east in the early morning, into the sun, or perhaps in conditions where the lighting is variegated by trees that line the highway, filtering the light of the a low sun in patches. But even then, while the tail function might make the car more visible, it again attenuates the abrupt off-to-bright stop signal.

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    Flashaholic kingofwylietx's Avatar
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    Default Re: Daytime REAR running lights to be mandated in Canada in 2021

    I passed two cars that were driving in the dark this morning and their headlights were off. One was the worst case scenario of being a black car...specifically, it was a Prius. I only mention it being a hybrid because it made me wonder if the driver was inattentive or performing an extreme hypermiling excercise.

    It seems to me the biggest mistake was made a long time ago when they (most automakers) decided the headlight switch should be detented as Off, Park, On.
    Later, they (most automakers) added automatic operation and stuck it at the end, making it Off, Park, On, Auto.

    Once they incorporated DRLs and automatic control, it seems they should have revised it to On, Off, Auto. The Parking light function should have moved to a separate switch, just as most fog light switches are today. This way, the average driver would not accidentally end up in the Park position on accident or through carelessness.

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    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: Daytime REAR running lights to be mandated in Canada in 2021

    Quote Originally Posted by kingofwylietx View Post
    I only mention it being a hybrid because it made me wonder if the driver was inattentive or performing an extreme hypermiling excercise.
    Have you seen their videogame dashboards?

    The Parking light function should have moved to a separate switch, just as most fog light switches are today. This way, the average driver would not accidentally end up in the Park position on accident or through carelessness.
    And confuse drivers even more? Also, they'd leave their parking lamps on all the time, just like they do with their fog lamps.

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    Flashaholic kingofwylietx's Avatar
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    Default Re: Daytime REAR running lights to be mandated in Canada in 2021

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaric Darconville View Post
    Have you seen their videogame dashboards?


    And confuse drivers even more? Also, they'd leave their parking lamps on all the time, just like they do with their fog lamps.
    I've never sat in a hybrid....but I'd be happy to drive a Tesla. Everything I read about them yells fun-to-drive.

    The nice thing about my idea is that it helps the ones that need it. It won't rectify the issue of people that purposely drive around with their parking or fog lights lit. It helps the people that may not turn on the headlights by accident.


    Another idea is to design/specify some portion of a multi-diode LED position lamp assembly to illuminate as parking lights. That way, the regulation could be met, since the entire light wouldn't be lit until the headlights are on....so the position lamp would only fully illuminate when the headlights are activated. Then, in parking lights mode, only the specified smaller area would be lit. That might meet the regulations.

    Those are some simple and small steps in a better direction. At least, I think it is. However, I'm not a lighting engineer, affiliated with any lighting manufacturer, or in the industry....so this is an outsiders perspective and only worth what you paid for it. What I wrote may be incredibly unsafe, illogical, and illegal. I just don't know.

    I do know my brother in-law got pulled over after leaving an airport at night in a rental car. It had DRLs and he thought it just had very poor headlights. The officer helped him out and sent him on his way without a ticket. Most likely, he was let go without a citation because he was literally driving to meet us from arriving at the airport.

  7. #7
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: Daytime REAR running lights to be mandated in Canada in 2021

    Quote Originally Posted by kingofwylietx View Post
    The nice thing about my idea is that it helps the ones that need it. It won't rectify the issue of people that purposely drive around with their parking or fog lights lit. It helps the people that may not turn on the headlights by accident.
    My '65 Dart had a pull knob-- first click: Parking lights. Second click: Low beams. Highs were on a foot-operated giant clicky button.

    Since at least 1976, the Toyota Corolla has largely had the very same combination switch that also has the turn signal function (and maybe even since '71, since my dad had one but he sold it in '80. I don't remember the controls as well). First click: Parking lamps. Second: Low beams. Throw the stalk forward for high beams. Later, they added a "flash-to-pass" and put the fog lamp switch on a ring closer to the steering column. Why now would they want to put the parking lamps on a dashboard switch? Pretty much every car has a light switch whose first detent is "park", then the second is "headlamps".

    Driver education is a better idea than completely revamping the controls.

    Another thing they could do instead of a green light that tells you your headlamps are on, is have an amber light that says they're off but SHOULD be on. Maybe it should also do a slow flash or ring a buzzer. The absence of a telltale that your headlamps are on is not quite as effective as the presence of a telltale that says they SHOULD be on.

    Another idea is to design/specify some portion of a multi-diode LED position lamp assembly to illuminate as parking lights. That way, the regulation could be met, since the entire light wouldn't be lit until the headlights are on....so the position lamp would only fully illuminate when the headlights are activated. Then, in parking lights mode, only the specified smaller area would be lit. That might meet the regulations.
    That would probably be unecessarily complicated, and automakers don't like complications because that narrows their profit margins.

    I do know my brother in-law got pulled over after leaving an airport at night in a rental car. It had DRLs and he thought it just had very poor headlights. The officer helped him out and sent him on his way without a ticket. Most likely, he was let go without a citation because he was literally driving to meet us from arriving at the airport.
    Well, it helps to glance at the manual of a rental car or just do a quick function check before driving it the first time. In fact, that should be something you ALWAYS do because you never know if your rental has burned out lamps, or the horn doesn't work, or the power locks don't work. And it's bad enough driving in an unfamiliar car under good conditions-- a sudden storm with heavy rain and darkened skies is not the time to try to figure out how to turn the lights and the wipers on.
    Last edited by Alaric Darconville; 03-23-2018 at 03:36 PM. Reason: *wipers

  8. #8

    Default Re: Daytime REAR running lights to be mandated in Canada in 2021

    Oh, geez. New warning lights (why? Everyone ignores the ones we already have), buzzers, rearranged switches. Speaking of unnecessarily complicated!

    I agree with the DrivingVisionNews article: fully automatic control of exterior lights is the way to go. Is it dark out or are the wipers on? Full low beams with front/rear/side conspicuity lights lit. Is it bright out? DRLs. We have good automatic high/low beam selection now, too, not like the junk of decades past, and we know it provides significant safety benefits over letting drivers do the high/low beam selection themselves, so that ought to be standard equipment, too.

  9. #9
    Flashaholic kingofwylietx's Avatar
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    Default Re: Daytime REAR running lights to be mandated in Canada in 2021

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaric Darconville View Post
    ....

    Driver education is a better idea than completely revamping the controls.

    ....
    I think relying on driver education is the worst path to success. That is what they have been doing, just like 'don't do illegal drugs' education, and physical education. Yet, people still drive fairly poorly, some people still do illegal drugs, and many people are overweight and/or live a sedentary lifestyle. To improve safety, we must rely less on humans and more on systems. Perhaps, it would be as cheap to build a lighting system with NO physical user switches. The vehicle would be programmed to use the lights at the appropriate times, it would be all software driven using the existing lighting relays. In any case of software confusion...default to lights activated. A light sensor would also be incorporated for unexpected darkness (cloudy days, tunnels, etc). Finally, there would be soft switches in the infotainment system so that if needed for any reason, people could still turn them on manually.

    I never wrote in there that my brother in-law was a brilliant man. That kind of thing couldn't happen to me because I inspect and familiarize myself with rentals before pulling out of the rental agency parking lot.

    Again, I'm not a designer of these things. But, driving as much as I do for a living....I can tell you that you can't rely upon the people. Even when they become educated, they still think they know better.


    Dang it....Virgil replied while I was typing. I'm with him....go fully automatic.

  10. #10
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: Daytime REAR running lights to be mandated in Canada in 2021

    Quote Originally Posted by -Virgil- View Post
    Oh, geez. New warning lights (why? Everyone ignores the ones we already have), buzzers... Speaking of unnecessarily complicated!
    But why is a green light telling you your lights are on better than an amber light telling you they're off but shouldn't be?

    rearranged switches.
    For me, the most troublesome 'solution'.

    I agree with the DrivingVisionNews article: fully automatic control of exterior lights is the way to go. Is it dark out or are the wipers on? Full low beams with front/rear/side conspicuity lights lit. Is it bright out? DRLs. We have good automatic high/low beam selection now, too, not like the junk of decades past, and we know it provides significant safety benefits over letting drivers do the high/low beam selection themselves, so that ought to be standard equipment, too.
    Available fully-automatic, but with sensible driver overrides (like when driving up to a checkpoint, for example).

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