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Thread: Lighting Laws

  1. #1
    Sense Pug307's Avatar
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    Lighting Laws

    I've just been reading a RACV article about lights and an interesting point I found was that it is not illegal to use front foglights in normal driving conditions (although the article advised to turn them off, so as not to cause discomfort to other users). For a long time, I had been given the impression that it was illegal to do so, unless you were in foggy conditions.

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    However, it is illegal to use rear foglights outside of adverse atmospheric conditions.

    The article had the rest of the traditional rules - eg. cannot use high beam within 200m of another car.

    Another interesting point - even though there are universal Australian road rules, in Victoria you can legally do a U-turn at an intersection if there is no signage advising otherwise, unlike in other states/territories, where there must be a sign expressly permitting it.

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    Yeh, i see the melbourne Taxi drivers doing a lot of Uturns at lights. It seems that they cope well, and I find Melbourne drivers some of the best in Australia generally. good or bad?
    Y^O^Y Banzai

  3. #3
    1000+ Posts purrr-geot's Avatar
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    cannot use high beam within 200m of another car.
    200m is a fair distance. I've been in plenty of sitations as a driver and passenger where it would be unsafe NOT to have the high beams on well within 200M.

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    Budding Architect ???? pugrambo's Avatar
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    purplepugWA:
    Yeh, i see the melbourne Taxi drivers doing a lot of Uturns at lights. It seems that they cope well, and I find Melbourne drivers some of the best in Australia generally. good or bad?
    you are joking aren't you ????
    if you ever get a chance just camp somewhere in downtown melbourne one day and watch how they drive and park
    BTW they park by feel
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    1000+ Posts dino's Avatar
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    r we maybe confusing "fog" lights as oppossed to driving lights like the hellas and so on...because as additional lights,,,they were always legal to drive with...and the u turn rule....i ve been doing them for years but it seems like a lot of cops dont like to see people doing them at intersections....ive been pulled up because of it...luckily was never fined as a result....

    cheeers
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    1000+ Posts dino's Avatar
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    ps....TOTALLY agree with pugrambo about melbourne taxi drivers....these guys are totally HOPELESS....dont know how they r elsewhere....i d
    preffer to catch public transport if they were worse than melbourne drivers....i think they should make sure that before anybody gets a taxi licence they drive more than 1 car in their life...and that should exclude sigmas, coronas,...

    cheers
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    i think aussie truck drivers are excellent though....

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    Ashtray Polisher donat's Avatar
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    Dunno if you were being sarcastic there, but Truckers seem to be a lot less agressive on highways, say from Brisbane-Sydney on the Pacific. I guess its all of those signs saying "Truckies: three strikes and you're out".

    Perhaps the quality of those >>little white pills<< isn't so good these days :p

    cheers!
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    1000+ Posts Rod Hagen's Avatar
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    Pug307:
    I've just been reading a RACV article about lights and an interesting point I found was that it is not illegal to use front foglights in normal driving conditions (although the article advised to turn them off, so as not to cause discomfort to other users). For a long time, I had been given the impression that it was illegal to do so, unless you were in foggy conditions.
    THe problem is that in many cases the "fog lights" aren't really fog lights at all these days, even though they are wired into the low beam circuitry.

    As I understand it the use rules also need to be read in conjunction with the fitting rules, which require the lights to be fitted in a way that reduces the offence to oncoming drivers. You aren't allowed to "bounce" them off the road or the vehicle in a way which may cause oncoming drivers problems , for example.

    They also have to comply with the general requirements of "low beam" lights.

    There is also a requirement that they be at least 500mm above the road surface. THink this still applies anyway. see <a href="http://www.dms.dpc.vic.gov.au/sb/1999_SR/S00944.html" target="_blank">http://www.dms.dpc.vic.gov.au/sb/1999_SR/S00944.html</a>

    Just by the way, I found a nice summary of the relevant Australian ADR's on vehicle lighting at <a href="http://www.lsa.com.au/LabNotes/Auto1001.pdf" target="_blank">http://www.lsa.com.au/LabNotes/Auto1001.pdf</a>
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    1000+ Posts CHRI'S16's Avatar
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    im not sure on the actual ruling for NSW, but police hate the extra (Either spots or fog or driving) lights on!!. its a 1 point and $125 dollar fine offence. It dosn't matter if they are factory fitted or added on, they just don't like em.---
    You guys can complain about Taxis all you want, but, you aint seen any like the city cabs we get here in sydney. Its not uncommon for them to block up a whole lane on a street if they know of a popular pick up fare point. Or to even stop in the middle of INTERSECTIONS!! to get a fare in the CBD, and if its busy, they ask you were your going and if it not to their liking they just wont take you!! some even don't run the meter and hagle on a set price which they know is more than it should be...---chris
    ... ptui!

  10. #10
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    I always drive with my C3 fog lights on like I did with my R19. The potholes are appalling and you need them on to play dodgems. Councils wont fix/pay for bent rims and wheels. Thats what I would say if i was pulled over.... wink

  11. #11
    1000+ Posts Rod Hagen's Avatar
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    danielsydney:
    I always drive with my C3 fog lights on like I did with my R19. The potholes are appalling and you need them on to play dodgems. Councils wont fix/pay for bent rims and wheels. Thats what I would say if i was pulled over.... wink
    Don't be surprised if you incur the wrath of plenty of other drivers (like me) then Daniel!

    I notice that in Queensland their use is apparaently illegal unless you are driving in appropriate conditions.

    Fog lights must be capable of being switched on and off independently of any headlights but must only be able to be switched on when the parking lights are on. Fog lights must not be used except in fog or mist or under other atmospheric conditions which restrict visibility.
    Blue lights are not allowed on any vehicles except police vehicles.
    - see <a href="http://www.transport.qld.gov.au/qt/driver.nsf/files/" target="_blank">www.transport.qld.gov.au/qt/driver.nsf/files/</a> images/$file/Vehicle-Modifications.pdf

    In NZ I gather new legislation is eityher in place or has been implemented along similar lines - see <a href="http://www.ltsa.govt.nz/legislation/rl32005-qa-05.html" target="_blank">http://www.ltsa.govt.nz/legislation/rl32005-qa-05.html</a>

    The proposed rule clarifies the requirements relating to fog lamps. Previous regulations have been ambiguous as to whether the definition of 'fog lamp' is sufficient to prohibit their use in fine weather conditions. As a result, there has been a lack of enforcement, which has led to widespread misuse of fog lamps.

    Fog lamps are designed to emit a diffuse beam of light with a wide beam pattern that has the potential to seriously dazzle other road users, particularly if they are not installed in a dipped position. The proposed rule contains a provision that would prohibit the use of fog lamps for purposes for which they are not intended (i.e. in conditions other than severely reduced visibility).
    I've just found some updates on the Victorian foglight situation:

    7.7 Front Fog Lamps

    Reference ADR 13.6.3 ADR 50/...

    1. Purpose

    These lamps are intended to improve the illumination of the road in conditions of fog, snowfall, rainstorms or dust clouds.

    2. Presence

    Optional

    Two matching fog lamps complying with ADR 50/... may be fitted to the front of all motor vehicles.

    Prohibited

    On trailers.

    3. Position

    A pair of lamps shall be fitted symmetrically (same position on both halves of the vehicle) and shall not vary according to the angle of lock of the steering.

    The light emitted shall not cause the driver discomfort either directly or indirectly through the rear view mirrors and or other reflecting surfaces of the vehicles.

    3.1 Width:

    See Figure 7.7.1 below.

    3.2 Height:

    See Figure 7.7.1 below.

    3.3 Length:

    The lamps shall be fitted to the front of the vehicle and face towards the front without causing undue dazzle or discomfort to oncoming drivers and other road users.

    3.4 Geometric Requirements

    The angles of light distribution are as shown in Figure 7.7.2 and Figure 7.7.3. (this shows that they must be no lower than 250mm above the road surface at their lowest point, no higher than the top of the low beam lights, and that their light must project no more than 5 DEGREES up or down. I suspect that very few aftermarket lights woiuld meet this last criterion)

    4. Lighting Requirements

    Front fog lamps may emit a white or yellow light.

    5. Grouping of Lamps

    May be grouped with any other lamp.

    May not be combined with any other front lamp.

    May be reciprocally incorporated with the main beam headlamps unless those headlamps swivel with the steering.

    6. Electrical Requirements

    It must be possible to switch the front fog lamps on and off independently of the main-beam headlamps or the dipped-beam headlamps or any combination of the main and dipped-beam headlamps.

    In addition it shall not be possible for the front fog lamps to operate unless the following lamps are also on:

    a. the front and rear position lamps;
    b. the rear registration plate lamp; and, if fitted,
    c. side marker lamps;
    d. passenger car side marker lamps; and
    e. end-outline marker lamps.

    The front fog lamps may be concealed when not in use.
    Its also worth noting that it is an offence under Victorian law to usde lights in a way which dazzles any other driver:

    219. Lights not to be used to dazzle other road users
    A driver must not use, or allow to be used, any light fitted to or in the driverís vehicle to dazzle, or in a way that is likely to dazzle, another road user.
    Penalty: 3 penalty units.
    (from Part 13 of Road Rule , Victoria.)

    I would have thought this would have allowed the police a fair amount of latitude down here to prosecute anyone who drives with their fog lamps on in an inappropriate situation, especially the ones fitted to variuous Holden "sports" utilities and the like these days!

    (Your observations would be appreciatred here, , mistareno)

    Cheers

    Rod
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    Budding Architect ???? pugrambo's Avatar
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    once again i have for 7 years driven around with the said "fog" lights always on in both my Mi-16 and the GTi-6 and will continue to do so
    i have never been pinged for it and i can't see why i should
    they do not dazzle oncomming drivers
    i have only been flashed a couple of times by other drivers and every time they have been older people in older cars
    i agree that rear fog lights have to be one of the most annoying things when they are on when they are not needed and every time i see a car with them on it is always a jap machine (when they will learn about how to wire up a car ??)
    i find the lights on say the GTi-6 that i drive are aimed low and are a good safety feature more than anything
    are we going to ban bike riders from having a light on during daytime as well fellas
    i feel that even if you don't have the said "fog" lights on a car that you should always have low beam on when driving on the open road as well
    lights are seen much earlier than the car itself
    this is my opinion only
    as for driving around city streets or built up areas with the said "fog" lights on i can't see the point
    but i live in the bush and as such use them
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  13. #13
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    Good foglights don't dazzle other drivers, but personally I find they're more useful in the country or in dark secluded streets (they do improve your vision immediately in front of the car) - out on well lit main roads, they aren't essential.

    But when I see those SS Commodores, I just hope that a big truck drives past through a muddy puddle and splats muck all over those front "fog" lights. They're terrible.

    danielsydney:
    I always drive with my C3 fog lights on like I did with my R19. The potholes are appalling and you need them on to play dodgems. Councils wont fix/pay for bent rims and wheels. Thats what I would say if i was pulled over.... wink
    Didn't the council pay for one of MY 4's nice rims?

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  14. #14
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    If good fog lights don't dazzle other drivers I'm yet to see a good one.

    I find them bloody irritating, especially in light rain. I usually drive an SS (and never use them) and certainly would agree with the thought of putting mud over them. You can almost forgive the rice burners as those who drive them often don't know about the controls of their cars but there's no excuse for the drivers of real cars.

    I reckon a light tap with a ball pane in the carpark, or as one of my like minded friends suggested a quick squirt with matt black.

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    Budding Architect ???? pugrambo's Avatar
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    <img src="http://www.aussiefrogs.com/gallery/images/pugrambo.jpg" alt=" - " />
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  16. #16
    1000+ Posts Damien Gardner's Avatar
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    It's interesting, i always thought the purpose of yellow, fog lights was to get better visability, in FOG & fog like drizzle rain. The reasoning behind this is the yellow light penetrates the fog better, without the wall of white experienced with normal white head lamps. This being the case, using them in good weather & in daylight is simply a waste of power & petrol, yes petrol everything extra you add to the electrical system big amps etc. All add load on the alternator, thereby requiring more effort to turn it.
    There are laws and measurements regarding actual alignment of the lights on the front of cars these are available to Motor service centres throught VACC and Vic Roads & i assume the other registering bodies.
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    Fellow Frogger! jfn180's Avatar
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    my fog lights turn on with my driveing lights,so i always have my fog lights on and everytime i go past a cop car nothing happen,
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  18. #18
    XTC
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    It seems to me that "what the rules are" and "what you can get fined for" are two different things.

    I know someone who got fined for using fog lights $100 and 1 demerit point. It's the definition that people can't seem to agree on ... Every piece of Peugeot literature I've seen talks about these as fog lights - and under all states rules these are illegal unless it's adverse conditions. But some companies call them driving lights (not to be confused with Spot lights) and then they are covered by a different set of rules.

    If Peugeot called them driving lights (and they met the ADR's as such) then regardless of what the police may say at the time, you would be backed by the law .... it would only take a few cases taken to court (and the police lose) for the police chiefs to tell officers to ignore cars with these lights on - it's not worth the court time.

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    European car's lights are coded on the lens according to what they are. Just above the "E" code on the lens, which is usually in an oval or rectangle, there is one or more letters or numbers to designate the type of lamp. "B" means fog, either white or yellow. So if there's a "B" just above the oval "E" code, for example, it's a fog.

    Incidentally, the E code gives you the country of approval of meeting the Euro standards; eg. "E11" is the UK. There can be a combination of codes. "HCR" means combination dip and high beam headlamp.

    Stuey


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    i was pulled into an RBT on the wekend at about 2 a.m sunday morning and was warned by the ploice lady on the breathalizer that told me
    "watch out for the highway patrolmen, they are arsehole and will book you for those lights, you'll be up for $76"
    so i turned em off and off i went happily.
    so whatch out, this was in Alfords Point/Sutherland

  21. #21
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    east_bay_punk:
    "watch out for the highway patrolmen, they are arsehole and will book you for those lights, you'll be up for $76"
    Interesting that everyone hates highway patrol police, including their own! I drive with my fog lights off because I hate other people driving with them on. Yes, I flash SS commodore drivers and BMW drivers. Most of them hit the brakes when I flash them though. I wonder why?

    Derek.

  22. #22
    Sense Pug307's Avatar
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    XTC206:
    Every piece of Peugeot literature I've seen talks about these as fog lights - and under all states rules these are illegal unless it's adverse conditions.
    I know Victoria's different at least.

    As I mentioned, the RACV said there's nothing illegal about using front fog lights outside of adverse atmospheric conditions - only rear foglights.

    Here's a link on <a href="http://www.vicroads.vic.gov.au/vrpdf/randl/part_13.pdf" target="_blank">Victorian Lighting Road Rules</a>. I'll mention the only relevant sections:

    Also, a driver driving during the day in fog, or other hazardous weather
    conditions causing reduced visibility, may drive without the headlights of the
    driverís vehicle operating if the vehicle is fitted with front fog lights and those
    lights are operating effectively and are clearly visible.
    Summary - you can just use your foglights without headlights in foggy or similar conditions.

    217. Using rear fog lights
    (1) The driver of a vehicle fitted with a rear fog light must not operate the fog light
    unless the driver is driving in fog or other hazardous weather conditions
    causing reduced visibility.
    Penalty: 2 penalty units.
    (2) In this ruleó
    rear fog light means a light fitted to a vehicle to make it more easily visible
    from the rear in fog.
    As the RACV says, only use of rear foglights outside foggy or similar conditions is illegal - NOT front foglights.

    The only point of contention is if you consider foglights as lights used to dazzle.

    219. Lights not to be used to dazzle other road users
    A driver must not use, or allow to be used, any light fitted to or in the driverís
    vehicle to dazzle, or in a way that is likely to dazzle, another road user.
    Penalty: 3 penalty units.
    Note 1 Driverís vehicle is defined in the dictionary, and road user is defined in rule 14.
    Note 2 Driver includes a person in control of a vehicleósee the definition of drive in the
    dictionary.
    So, really, there's nothing specifically that prohibits the use of front foglights!

    Cheers,

    Justin

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  23. #23
    XTC
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    Pug307:
    So, really, there's nothing specifically that prohibits the use of front foglights! Cheers,
    Justin
    Yet people still get fined deal for them ... what gives

    Give the tools (the rules) to those that have to enforce the law (the police) to make sure a correct decision is made .. not one that can be decided on what side of the bed they got out of that morning/night. And THEN let us know about them - once and for all.

    Next thing you know it'll be illegal to talk holding your mobile phone up to your ear when driving - how stupid is that ? wink

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    Budding Architect ???? pugrambo's Avatar
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    pugrambo:

    i find the lights on say the GTi-6 that i drive are aimed low and are a good safety feature more than anything
    are they going to ban bike riders from having a light on during daytime as well ?????
    all seems a bit nitpicky to me
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    1 x secret project

    1 x '98 406 STDT troop carrier and i don't care if it stinks, i don't sniff it's arse Death by wank tank

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    1 x 1994 605 SV3.0


    WTD long range fuel tank for 605

  25. #25
    1000+ Posts Damien Gardner's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Pug307:
    So, really, there's nothing specifically that prohibits the use of front foglights! Cheers,
    Justin.

    The problem here is, this interpretation comes from RACV, not Vic Roads. We all interpret differently, police included.
    Regarding White forward facing, extra lights. Despite some manufacturers fitting and wiring them to low beam. I've seen nothing in print that repeals the Law, which states all additional forward facing white lights, must be mounted a minimum of 600mm at centres and i think 300mm above road surface, and must be wired so that, they only come on whilst on High beam & may be independantly switched within that circuit.
    cheers!
    Health and good fortune always,
    Damien.

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