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Re: daytime running lights []
Posted by Stephen G Carrellas - (more from Stephen G Carrellas - on Tue, 7 Sep 2004 20:28:14
In Reply to: daytime running lights [], David -, Thu, 26 Aug 2004 11:04:32

Jim's comment about having driver control of all lights is right on
and is a key part of the NMA position on DRLs. When I had the DRLs
turned off on my last two Saabs, I was able to get the headlight
switch operate like my two Saabs before these. For my 9-5, in
addition to pulling the fuse as instructed in the owner's manual,
the service folks had to use the Tech 2 so the headlights
wouldn't come on in the 'parking light' position.

I also noted that Jim is from Canada where DRLs are mandated and
you don't have the legal option to shut them off.

To follow up on another of Jim's points, using lights during
daylight hours is important when the conditions warrant (e.g.,
rain, fog, dawn/dusk, etc.) and there is a much clearer benefit to
doing so. Having them on during bright daylight is a different
issue that was the intent of the discussion in my last post.

To Tom's points questioning the accuracy of NMA's reference and
innuendo about NMA's providing of information, they are mostly off
base. Having been the NJ coordinator for NMA for the last 16
years, I remember when the HLDI reference came out and did some
confirming of my recollections.

The study we referenced was reported in the HLDI Bulletin Volume
15, Number 1, Dec 1997. It was found that personal injury claims
were somewhat higher after DRLs were introduced. This information
was provided in a bulletin and the study may not have been publicly
available at the time its findings were reported. The insurance
industry has a long-standing habit of reporting findings but not
providing the details of the supposed study that provided the
findings. Plus, in that time frame, the web was not pervasive with
links for studies so there is a pretty good reason why NMA couldn't
provide a reference.

If HLDI has a more recent reporting of findings or an actual updated
study showing DRLs have a statistically significant benefit, I'd
like to know the reference and review the findings.

Also, the NMA isn't the only one opposing the mandatory
implementation of DRLs. There are several other organizations and
you should see the comments to the NHTSA docket on this issue from
organizations and citizens alike.

Anyone who wants to do research on this issue has the internet at
their disposal. The hard part is trying to digest what it all
really means. I've lived through some of the battles and have the
background and context for this issue and can still say there is
not yet a sound scientific basis for mandating DRLs in the U.S. If
drivers want to make a conscious choice to turn lights on during
the day, that is their choice to make.

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