The Department for Transport conducted its own research into the European Commission plan to make daytime running lights compulsory across Europe, because it would make traffic more visible.
The research, carried out by the Transport Research Laboratory, found some problems with the EC report but generally agreed with the conclusions.
Substantial evidence was found that the mandatory use of daytime running lights would reduce accidents overall, but researchers found that the claims of a 15% reduction were unsubstantiated.
Liz Hollands, fleet manager for DTZ and a director of fleet managers’ association ACFO, said some operators might suggest that drivers get ahead of the proposed legislation and operate their running lights during the day, in a bid to be safer on the road.
Concern has been raised by some that such legislation could endanger motorcyclists, who often rely on their headlights to stand out in traffic. The DfT research found that it should be possible to design car lights that let motorcyclists remain conspicuous, but also said that higher-intensity lights, including some standard headlights, could have an adverse effect on biker conspicuousness.
The EC is currently entering a consultation exercise to examine the best way to put their proposals into practice.