There aught to be a law!

Poppy

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Wait. What? Please expound.
The people who create laws have never been able to keep up with technological advancements. What makes you think they could start now?
@Chauncey Gardiner
I responded "Irrelevant" to the above, because: his question is irrelevant.

He makes an absolute statement that they have NEVER been able to keep up with technological advancements. I don't know if that is true, but that is irrelevant. Sometimes laws are written to be proactive, often they are written as a reactive response to an issue.

My proposed solution, and it is only a partial solution, is a reactive response to an issue, therefore his questioning me regarding "What makes me think they can start being proactive IE, keeping up with technological advancements now?" is irrelevant.
 

Bill Idaho

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I live in the treasure valley in Idaho. Our state laws do address headlight height (and technically the lack thereof!). If a state was to create a defined min/max for headlights, somehow there would have to be an exemption for special applications, such as pickups with snow plows. Since plows prevent the vehicle's headlights from doing what they are supposed to do, a set of headlights are mounted way up above the plow, often times above the flat surface of the hood! I retired after 24 years driving around with a shiny white car with lights on top (if-ya-know-what-I-mean) and was probably one of the only guys to actually engage drivers with equipment issues. Even though many of Idaho's laws are somewhat problematic, they can be useful. I would only imagine most states do have laws to help, it probably is the literal enforcement that is lacking.
 

Olumin

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Its because most new car sales in the US are trucks and SUVs, which circumvent regulations by being classified as light trucks instead of cars. Car Industries market these vehicles over conventional cars because it makes them more money, mostly because light trucks arent held to the same crash & safety standards as cars. Thats despite most americans being better served with a much more practical station wagon with better cargo space & fuel economy.
 

bykfixer

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The people who create laws have never been able to keep up with technological advancements. What makes you think they could start now?
Actually the people who create laws often believe they themselves are not subject to said laws, therefore they really don't care about technological advancements. Meanwhile some minion is shaking his or her head saying "I tried to tell them it'll never work".....
 

Poppy

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Actually laws are written by lawyers, and staff members of the "Office of legislative Services" They take direction from the sponsoring legislator. He/She may give them a rough draft of what they want said. The OLS then takes the idea and writes a Bill in legalize. They may, or may not have any knowledge of the subject they are writing about.

The Bill, may get modified a dozen times or more after the sponsor gets input/complaints from concerned parties.
 

Poppy

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It appears that Amazon agrees

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pnwoutdoors

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I think that there should be a law that manufacturers of cars and trucks must design them with headlights at a standard height, and that it should be low enough that they do not allow them to shine into the windshield of standard passenger vehicles ... I find the glare of oncoming headlights extremely disturbing.

Agreed.

IMO, a general standard makes sense for bumper height and lighting. (For all the obvious reasons.) Bumpers, so that bumpers can actually do their jobs against other bumpers and actually hinder destruction instead of aiding and abetting. Lighting, so there won't be such likelihood of people getting blinded with grossly-high lighting.

Used to be, "off-road" capable vehicles had to have their high-output devices covered whenever on public roads. And, at least in the areas where I lived 40-50yrs ago, enforcement was swift and sure.

These days, it seems all the bright lighting that most cars seem to be sporting has enabled a much greater number of eye-wateringly-bright vehicles to not garner such swift attention by the police.

Nice to see much higher-output lighting, much better designs. Sad to see so much of it done poorly, though, given what palette the makers have to work with these days.
 

John_Galt

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There are already standards for the minimum and maximum heights of lamps, bumpers etc. Changing the law or changing the standard today does absolutely nothing to mitigate the issue, as it will not effect the millions of vehicles already on the road, nor will it for decades.
 

pnwoutdoors

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There are already standards for the minimum and maximum heights of lamps, bumpers etc.

Yet, we still have larger pickups (for example) made and sold with lighting grossly higher than appropriate.

The "standards" don't seem to be sufficient.
 

John_Galt

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What "larger pickups" have lamps, from the factory, that measure more than 54" from the ground to the center of the lamp? Yes, people who are installing lift kits more than 6" and the tires that then fit as a result of the lift (and usually the help of a BFH) are likely to raise the lamps above this maximum height. But that is not the OEMs fault, or a sign of their lack of compliance.

Additionally, as you say enforcement should be increased for "uncovered lamps." I would pay Very Good Money to listen to an argument on the side of the road with some state trooper that driving around at night using a pair of bucket mounted sealed beams, and trailer turn signals is something you shouldn't be ticketed for, because you disabled your now-too-high OEM headlamps (which due to their complex shape and mounting tab positions do not allow one to lower them easily, if at all).

I lifted my old 4runner. Because I built a winch bumper, I had to move the turn signals. I made sure that my height amd mounting position was fully compliant with my states inspection handbook, and neither was blocked from view. Yet I received more than one ticket for "removing/disabling safety equipment" because a troopers word is law on the side of the road, even if the actual law is printed out in plain black and white and in the hands of the driver. Enforcemenr comes down to an understanding of the reasoning for a law. There are laws that are so stupidly written, that enforcing them would be harmful. Just for vehicle lighting laws, in PA, there is no referenced standard for what constitutes a "fog lamp." Anything goes. However both fog lamps and driving lights, which serve two extremely different purposes, must be aimed identically. Even if a real fog lamp were to be mpunted and used, the "legal/compliant" aim would result in blindimg glare for oncoming traffic, and the same aim for the driving lights would result in far far too much foreground light, reducing the effectiveness of both the driving lights and the OEM highbeams.

The law is a fickle thing, usually extremely poorly written by people who are the least qualified to write it, and enforced by people who usually don't care outside of personal axes to grind.
 

Poppy

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Besides setting a standard height, lower than 54 inches, beams should be inspected for alignment, and the dispersal pattern should meet the established parameters.

In NJ they stopped inspecting headlights about 10 years ago, maybe more. They should start again.

In another thread in this section someone pointed to a study that concluded that an astoundingly high percentage of headlights leave the assembly line out of alignment.
 

bykfixer

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Recently on my morning commute a van behind me caused me to have to flip my rear view mirror into night mode because the bumper mounted headlights were blinding me in THE DAYTIME.

It's not always about the location of said light, but about the intensity of light they produce regardless of location.
 

Poppy

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Recently on my morning commute a van behind me caused me to have to flip my rear view mirror into night mode because the bumper mounted headlights were blinding me in THE DAYTIME.

It's not always about the location of said light, but about the intensity of light they produce regardless of location.
Knowing that you drive a pickup truck when commuting, if the bumper mounted light caused you to flip your mirror to night mode, please refer to my previous post.

There is a significant percentage of headlights that are out of alignment. IMO they should be checked periodically and properly aligned.
 

theory816

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Lol there are lots of laws and regulations on car lighting. The best thing you can do is not stare into the headlights(yes this is hard to do).

And also sometimes the cars are within spec, but we still believe that they are blinding because of learned behavior.
 

kaichu dento

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Lol there are lots of laws and regulations on car lighting. The best thing you can do is not stare into the headlights(yes this is hard to do).

And also sometimes the cars are within spec, but we still believe that they are blinding because of learned behavior.
If they're blinding it's either poor design, out of spec, they've got their high beams on or illegal equipment. Headlights never used to be as dazzlingly blinding, even with the high beams and when low beams can force you to look away in broad daylight, there are some problems that need to be addressed.
 

theory816

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If they're blinding it's either poor design, out of spec, they've got their high beams on or illegal equipment. Headlights never used to be as dazzlingly blinding, even with the high beams and when low beams can force you to look away in broad daylight, there are some problems that need to be addressed.
Headlights are all tested before making it to market. The only time they are blinding is when you get caught under the cutoff line, which is due to the angle of the road. The other time is aftermarket swapping of bulbs. And lastly people with highbeams on.

So all the T's and i's are crossed and dotted on the manufacturers part. It's what people modify to their cars that's the issue.

But driving in itself is a very brute activity. It's amazing what engineers have done to make driving safer. Driving is always going to be for the most part, an unpleasant activity.
 

bykfixer

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While working at night recently I have noticed more and more "white" head lights vs the old school kind of yellow sort. Not that they all blind me but perception as they approach, it makes them seem a little brighter. But there are numerous vehicles out there with ridiculously bright headlights. Out of spec aim? Aftermarket? I could not say.
 

kaichu dento

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So all the T's and i's are crossed and dotted on the manufacturers part. It's what people modify to their cars that's the issue.
You believe that, but I'm not nearly as accepting of your statement suggesting that they haven't been fudging and taking advantage of non-enforcement.

You're saying you believe rules are being followed and it's nothing more than words which are not supported by ever more blinding headlights on stock vehicles as a norm.
 

theory816

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You believe that, but I'm not nearly as accepting of your statement suggesting that they haven't been fudging and taking advantage of non-enforcement.

You're saying you believe rules are being followed and it's nothing more than words which are not supported by ever more blinding headlights on stock vehicles as a norm.
You can buy a Lux meter and measure the brightness for yourself if you claim it to be too bright.

There is a standard for illumination that the engineers have to stick to and you can measure it for yourself.

Above the cutoff line at B50L(zone II), you can have only .4lux of light. This is the light that many thinks that is blinding them, but as you can see, its only .4 lux. This light is used to light up road signs.

11082_2020_2604_Fig1_HTML.png
 
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pnwoutdoors

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Headlights are all tested before making it to market. The only time they are blinding is when you get caught under the cutoff line, which is due to the angle of the road. The other time is aftermarket swapping of bulbs. And lastly people with highbeams on.

Or even something as simple as driving around with 100 pounds of stuff in the trunk. Doesn't do anybody any favors, in terms of the cutoff of the headlight beams. (Where I live, there are lots of smaller pickup trucks, and often there will be a small load in the back; with cars and the crossover/SUV vehicles there's no telling, but I suspect it's not infrequent that a bit of load gets carried around at all times (ie, spare wiper and coolant fluids, first-aid kit, winter/survival stuff, a jug of water, etc).
 

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