Canada introduces mandatory automatic lighting
the end of the blind flight
Canada this winter introduced a regulation for the 2021/2022 season that is also long overdue for Europe. An automatic lighting system automatically turns on the low beam in the dark – and otherwise leaves the equipment in the dark.
It is not uncommon, especially in autumn and winter, to encounter vehicles that are on the road at noon, evening or night without headlights. The problem is not new, but has gotten worse in recent years as more and more vehicles are equipped with LED daytime running lights. This sometimes makes the area in front of the vehicle so bright when the vehicle is started that inattentive drivers think the normal headlights are on. You may see switched-off headlights in car-sharing vehicles, especially in metropolitan city centers. The reason for this is obvious, as drivers are often not aware of the car and are not familiar with the driving functions. The problem is compounded by the fact that most modern car cockpits are brightly lit. This means that when you get into the vehicle, the devices behind the steering wheel glow in a bright light. It also raises the impression, especially with inattentive or inexperienced drivers, that headlights or submerged headlights turn on at the same time. Accordingly, subsequent travel can sometimes be a dangerous game, as the daytime running light is no longer a marker light in the front and usually nothing in the rear light. Some drivers don’t notice it, especially in brightly lit city centers, even on long trips.
In September 2021, Canada introduced the Canada Vehicle Lighting Regulation under the motto “See and See”, a long overdue regulation according to which all newly registered vehicles must have an automatic lighting system. In other words, when it gets dark, the low beam turns on automatically. This automatic lighting system has also been installed in new vehicles in the United States and Europe for many years. However, automatic lighting is just one of the various lighting functions and can be turned on or off accordingly. This is no longer possible in Canada – on newer models the lighting function is mandatory when you start the car.
But Canada’s regulation goes a step further with the new regulation. Since the devices have been lighting up here for many years when the ignition key is turned on or the starter button is pressed, many drove through Canada and did not notice that the dipped headlights were not switched on at all. The new rule states that the instruments must remain dark until the headlights are turned on. This at least applies to vehicles not equipped with a fully animated cockpit, as it would otherwise remain completely black without driving lights. In Canada, the regulation applies not only to all cars registered after September 1, 2021, but also to vans, trucks, pick-ups and motorcycles.
There’s a lot going on in vehicle lighting in North America currently. Matrix LED headlights that turn off oncoming traffic and adapt their own light to their surroundings have only been approved in Canada for less than a year. In the United States also, after several delays, consideration is being given to whether this function, which has been available for years in Europe, could be continued and thus a lighter control for vehicles that took effect from 1968. Yes, overridden.
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