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Independent Study on Headlight Glare

RAC welcomes Government decision to commission independent study into headlight glare

Responding to a petition set up by a member of the public following campaigning on the issue by the RAC, the College of Optometrists, Baroness Hayter and others, the Government said: “Recognising the need for further evidence [regarding headlight glare], we intend to commission independent research shortly.”

RAC road safety spokesperson Rod Dennis said:

“The fact the Government has listened to drivers’ concerns and heeded our calls to examine the complex issue of headlight glare in more detail marks a real turning point. The topic has undoubtedly struck a chord with motorists up and down the country, with many people contacting us directly to call for something to be done.

“Brighter headlights, while giving drivers a better view of the road ahead, are clearly causing other road users significant problems. As many as nine-in-10 drivers tell us they believe at least some car headlights are too bright, while 14% of drivers aged 65+ say they have stopped driving altogether as a result of being dazzled.

“An independent study provides a golden opportunity for the Government and industry to get to the bottom of the problem, identify the factors involved and map out a way forward. We’re aware of regulatory changes being made at an international level that will hopefully make a difference in many years to come, but are concerned that these alone may not be enough to address headlight dazzle.

“There are also known shortcomings concerning the official road casualty data not accurately capturing the true number of incidents associated with headlight glare, so it’s absolutely right that the topic is investigated properly to understand what can be done to keep everyone safe.

“We look forward to working with the Department of Transport to help ensure the study is as robust as possible and drivers’ voices are heard.”

Baroness Hayter said:

“This is a victory for all those drivers affected by glare who’ve complained to their MP, signed the parliamentary petition, or indeed sought help from an optometrist – only to discover the problem was with headlights, and not their eyes. This is an issue the RAC has long campaigned on and I am delighted the Government has recognised there is a real problem. We look forward to discussing its research in due course.”

The RAC has been campaigning on the issue of dazzling headlights for several years, and first conducted research on drivers’ views in 2018.

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