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Driving with dimmed headlights may be mandatory by 2015

Leo Varadkar says the Road Safety Authority will consider mandatory rules when the country’s car fleet becomes more modern.

THE TRANSPORT MINISTER has said Ireland’s motorists could be obliged to keep their headlights on at all times within three years, in efforts to improve road safety.

Leo Varadkar has said the Road Safety Authority is likely to consider the measure by 2015, but is not likely to implement the rule before then as the national car fleet is not considered modern enough to cater for it.

An EU directive issued in 2008 made it obligatory for all new passenger cars and small vans to be fitted with ‘Daytime Running Lights’ (DRL) from February 2011 onwards, and from all other new vehicles from this August.

While the Road Safety Authority encourages motorists to use dimmed headlights on a voluntary basis, it believes the cost of forcing motorists to have DRL fitted retrospectively to their cars would outweigh any safety benefits.

In response to a parliamentary question from Fine Gael backbencher David Stanton, Varadkar said this would be revisited “in around three years’ time” when the directive had taken full effect, meaning a larger portion of Irish cars would already be equipped to cater for such a rule.

“In the meantime, the Authority will intensify the promotion of using DRL with a view to significantly increasing the use of DRL,” Varadkar said.

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