Daytime Running Lights UK Law & Regulations
DAYTIME RUNNING LIGHTS UK LAW
Daytime running lights (sometimes referred to as DRLs or daylight running lamps) are low-wattage bulbs that are fitted to a car to improve visibility during daylight hours. As of 7th February 2011* DRLs have become a mandatory fitting to all new type approved passenger vehicles (except trailers).
DRLs must switch on with the vehicle ignition and switch off when the vehicle sidelights are switched on. They can also be made to function as front position (side) lights, which operate at a reduced intensity when the vehicle sidelights are switched on.
You may have already seen DRLs out on the road - many manufacturers such as Audi have fitted them to new models. They can usually be found just below the car's main headlights, and normally switch on with the vehicle ignition and off when the vehicle sidelights are turned on.
WHY HAS THE DAYTIME RUNNING LIGHTS LAW BEEN INTRODUCED?
The answer is simple - these lights improve road safety during daylight hours. The lighting makes cars more visible to pedestrians crossing the road, and to other motorists.
In fact, studies carried out by the European Commission and the Department for Transport have both found that daytime running lights can reduce accidents and casualties during daytime hours.
DAYTIME RUNNING LIGHTS REGULATIONS
New cars must be fitted with DRLs to comply with the daytime running lights law. However, many drivers have been fitting them to older cars to take advantage of their benefits. If you're going to do this, follow these simple guidelines:
- Make sure the lights comply with safety standards - the Ring Daytime Running Lights sold at Halfords are marked ECE R87 so you can be sure they're street legal
- DRLs are connected so that they come on with your ignition and switch off when the vehicle’s lighting is switched on, unless they have a night styling function which reduces the light output for night time driving.
WHY FIT DAYTIME RUNNING LIGHTS?
Although the daytime running lights law does not require existing car owners to fit DRLs, many drivers are choosing to add them.
Apart from the road safety benefits, the lights look stylish - because they're associated with new, high-tech models, loads of people are using them as a quick and easy way to upgrade their motors.
As more vehicles appear on the road with DRLs on, older vehicles will be at a disadvantage in terms of visibility. So it's expected that drivers with older vehicles will choose to add DRLs or will drive with sidelights or dipped headlights on.
The problem with driving with headlights on is that it increases fuel consumption - DRLs are a better option, as they're normally LED lights that consume less power. Some even have a lifespan of up to 50,000 hours.
DAYTIME RUNNING LIGHTS AT HALFORDS
Halfords sells a range of Ring Daytime Running Lights that can be easily fitted to any car. Take a look online or pop into your local store to find out more about these and our wider range of car accessories.
We also sell Daytime Styling Lights - these give the look of a DRL but come on with the headlights, meaning they are marked as side position lights and not daytime running lights.
* European Directive 76/656/EEC, as amended by 2008/89/EC