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#1 Jaffsdad

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 12:26 AM

I know in the past it was illegal to use (i.e. have switched on) white lights below a certain height or below the front bumper except in inclement weather. i.e. poor visibility.. When was this law changed, as there are now many new cars that would be breaking this law?

Also the law used to state that any light above this height had to be WHITE. yet now we have blue headlamps..

Or are drivers of all these cars breaking the law. ? :wacko:

#2 rowrow

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 12:43 AM

They are indeed breaking the law.

No car is allowed to display a blue light for obvious reasons!

And any other auxiliary lighting is not allowed to be switched on when the car is in motion. For example, the neon lights under the car that make it appear to be floating are not allowed.

The same principle applies to your interior light. You must have it switched off when driving.

#3 explodJP

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 07:53 AM

lights below 1200mm from ground are classed as fog lights which restricts their use to certain conditions of weather . There are execeptions to lights that are limited in wattage classed as other types of light eg sidelights , running lights etc .
Contrary to many peoples belief it is not illegal to show a blue light to front , as long as it is a steady light , and does not resemble a special lamp .
Many lighting regulations are described by prohibition rather than specifying what you are allowed eg no vehicle to show other than a red light to rear exceptions amber for turn signals , white only when reversing and must be automatically switched . certain vehicles work lights , etc etc . lights underneath vehicles depending on meeting certain criteria are not per se illegal .
There is no law on interior lights having to be off when driving , as far as I am aware . sorry to disagree.

#4 blueb

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 08:25 AM

lights below 1200mm from ground are classed as fog lights which restricts their use to certain conditions of weather . There are execeptions to lights that are limited in wattage classed as other types of light eg sidelights , running lights etc .
Contrary to many peoples belief it is not illegal to show a blue light to front , as long as it is a steady light , and does not resemble a special lamp .
Many lighting regulations are described by prohibition rather than specifying what you are allowed eg no vehicle to show other than a red light to rear exceptions amber for turn signals , white only when reversing and must be automatically switched . certain vehicles work lights , etc etc . lights underneath vehicles depending on meeting certain criteria are not per se illegal .
There is no law on interior lights having to be off when driving , as far as I am aware . sorry to disagree.


Perhaps it is the way I read it, but 1200mm from the ground is about the height of the door handle or a bit higher on many cars - above headlights etc. Fogs have a MAX height of 1200mm. But I agree taht there is no problem with having the inetrior light/s on whilst driving.
Asking the OP and the use of lights below the bumper do you mean modified vehicles or as they come out of the showroom - if so what would be the examples!

The blue headlights are white, its just the refractio of the colors which tend to give the blue hue to them.

#5 Jaffsdad

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 09:18 AM

lights below 1200mm from ground are classed as fog lights which restricts their use to certain conditions of weather . There are execeptions to lights that are limited in wattage classed as other types of light eg sidelights , running lights etc .
Contrary to many peoples belief it is not illegal to show a blue light to front , as long as it is a steady light , and does not resemble a special lamp .
Many lighting regulations are described by prohibition rather than specifying what you are allowed eg no vehicle to show other than a red light to rear exceptions amber for turn signals , white only when reversing and must be automatically switched . certain vehicles work lights , etc etc . lights underneath vehicles depending on meeting certain criteria are not per se illegal .
There is no law on interior lights having to be off when driving , as far as I am aware . sorry to disagree.


1200mm that sounds wrong.. A standard kitchen work surface is only approximately 90mm .. I suspect no cars will have headlamps over 1200 so are they classified as "FOG LIGHTS"
My main question related to those bright white light below the bumper on many production cars nowadays. And the law as it was many years ago that barred white lights below a certain height except in bad visibility.

I am not here concerned about interior lights as they only really affect the occupants of that car, my concern is the lights on one car affecting the visibility for a driver of an approaching car...

#6 Jaffsdad

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 09:26 AM

Perhaps it is the way I read it, but 1200mm from the ground is about the height of the door handle or a bit higher on many cars - above headlights etc. Fogs have a MAX height of 1200mm. But I agree taht there is no problem with having the inetrior light/s on whilst driving.
Asking the OP and the use of lights below the bumper do you mean modified vehicles or as they come out of the showroom - if so what would be the examples!

The blue headlights are white, its just the refractio of the colors which tend to give the blue hue to them.


I mean ANY car modified or straight from the factory. But they are coming out of the factory with bright lights below the bumper, which drivers have on all the time, or least they come on with when sidelights or headlights are switched on. I have had Volvos with the old style "day running lights" and think they should be mandatory for all vehicles but the modern lights below the front bumper are too bright and I cannot see what advantage they are to anyone..

#7 Jaffsdad

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 09:34 AM

Perhaps it is the way I read it, but 1200mm from the ground is about the height of the door handle or a bit higher on many cars - above headlights etc. Fogs have a MAX height of 1200mm. But I agree taht there is no problem with having the inetrior light/s on whilst driving.
Asking the OP and the use of lights below the bumper do you mean modified vehicles or as they come out of the showroom - if so what would be the examples!

The blue headlights are white, its just the refractio of the colors which tend to give the blue hue to them.


"The BLUE lights are WHITE " :unsure: I do know what you mean. BUT I don't care who? what? why? when? or where? it happens if it looks blue then surley it IS blue. the question was IS IT LEGAL

#8 saltysplash

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 09:46 AM

I mean ANY car modified or straight from the factory. But they are coming out of the factory with bright lights below the bumper, which drivers have on all the time, or least they come on with when sidelights or headlights are switched on. I have had Volvos with the old style "day running lights" and think they should be mandatory for all vehicles but the modern lights below the front bumper are too bright and I cannot see what advantage they are to anyone..



They are driving lamps to be used in bad weather to illuminate the road in front of the vehicle, not to be a fashion accessory,

I have often stopped cars driving with them on and given them suitable advice and if seen again stuck them on for inconsiderate driving


"The BLUE lights are WHITE " :unsure: I do know what you mean. BUT I don't care who? what? why? when? or where? it happens if it looks blue then surley it IS blue. the question was IS IT LEGAL



Calm down Dad, you'll blow a fuse then no lights at all


The Blue hue are a light to try and reproduce daylight. Yes they are currently legal

#9 Soren

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 10:02 AM

They are indeed breaking the law.

No car is allowed to display a blue light for obvious reasons!

And any other auxiliary lighting is not allowed to be switched on when the car is in motion. For example, the neon lights under the car that make it appear to be floating are not allowed.

The same principle applies to your interior light. You must have it switched off when driving.

The above is complete rubbish. Please ignore.

Fog lights are a specific class of lamp, and they must only be used in conditions of seriously reduced visibility (*i.e. less than 100m). They can be white or yellow and mustn't be more than 1200mm off the ground. Often motorists try to describe them as driving lamps because they think that will allow them to be used at other times. This is incorrect. Driving lamps can only be operated with your main beam, in other words when you switch your main beam to dipped headlights the driving lamps must automatically go off too.

As saltysplash said, the blue tinted headlights are usually legal. Headlights have to be white or yellow by law. The blue xenon lights you see are legal because the blue light is in the acceptable range to be described as 'white'.

Edited by Søren, 07 May 2009 - 10:26 AM.


#10 blueb

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Posted 08 May 2009 - 07:56 AM

"The BLUE lights are WHITE " :unsure: I do know what you mean. BUT I don't care who? what? why? when? or where? it happens if it looks blue then surley it IS blue. the question was IS IT LEGAL

The blue tinged lights are usually high intensity gas discharge lamps or HIDs, where the lights ia a more pure white compared to the halogens. Its a bit like the upgarde when you look at the old tungsten lamps compared to halogen, a hike in the light quality. Sometimes when you look at them, they may appear to have a blue tinge. They are legal, e marked ec.
Not to be confused wtih lamps that simply show a blue light - and not even a tinge of white and don't have e markings.
To aswer your query aabout don't care who, whatm when where or why..... the answer is the legit ones are white even if you may think they are blue.

So on the other aspect.. what type of new vehicles do yo mean that have the lights you mention that also are illegal so we can discus the same issue/vehicle.

#11 explodJP

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Posted 08 May 2009 - 08:07 AM

Soren has cleared up the slight confusion that I may have caused by the misplacement of the word "which" that was included in my statement
"lights below 1200mm from ground are classed as fog lights which restricts their use to certain conditions of weather"


"lights below 1200mm from ground which are classed as fog lights restricts their use to certain conditions of weather ".
In other words they are auxillary lights (non obligatory), which are not switched to extinguish on selecting dip on the headlamp control , and are above wattage limit for "running lamps"

Some of this confusion of mop has arisen due to change in law that placed a higher (1200mm) upper limit on what were classed as fog lights

#12 mataston

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 12:34 AM

A new regulation has come into play that all new cars manufactured from april 2011 will have daylight running lights installed. these can be above the headlight or where foglights would normailly exists. The power o/p various but a filament bulb type is 21w, led light are different as the power is only a couple watts, but they are on par with the same brightness.

And yes they are becoming a fashion accessory as you can see by the various interesting patterns car munfacturers are coming up with.

I am pretty sure that the idea of the daylight running bulbs is to reduce RTA's as they make the car more visible and hopefully people notice that and dont pull out infront of you causing you to slam on the breaks.

So if someone has their fog lights on in the day and they dont have Daylight running lamps installed surely the fog lights are serving the same purpose in that regard????

#13 charlyfarlly

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 01:52 AM

the lighting regs are a nightmare to read, especially on the web as its all backward and forwards, but,, its very good at giving maximums for some things and minimums for others seldom both

for instance your required to have at least two dipped headlights but there is no max number you can haven (as long as they come in pairs) and there is a max hieght for them but no min

the accepted wizdom that you cant have lights below the bumper hieght is not born out by the regs, certainly you cant have fog lights on in good conditions, but these dont actualy have to be below the bumper, there is no reason why you cant have additional running lights or addition dipped beam lights mounted there, coz as above there is no min height or max number, though they would have to meet the other requirments of dipped beam or running lights including beam pattern/ max watage etc etc

i have addition dipped beams fitted where the fogs should be on my disco and i have had a couple of discusions about it, but handing over a copy of the lighting regs seems to work, :whistle2:and they are higher than the heads lights on most cars, that and im not driving a clio

unless you know different ?

Edited by charlyfarlly, 13 May 2011 - 02:02 AM.


#14 earthman

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 04:10 PM

They are indeed breaking the law.

The same principle applies to your interior light. You must have it switched off when driving.


What about a map reading light then? Some cars have these, often they are on a separate switch can the front seat passenger not help to navigate whilst the car is moving then?

#15 explodJP

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 09:39 AM

mataston auxillary lights used as fog lights would not serve the same purpose as running lights as they would not comply with wattage requirements. If you modified your "fog" lights so that they had a 21w bulb (which is what some car manufacturers have done) then you would be OK . Other than this any auxillary light must extinguish on dipping the "obligatory" headlamps, unless you are using them as fog lights in conditions of low visability (i.e. fog ) compliant with the regulations. JMHO

Edited by explodJP, 14 May 2011 - 09:40 AM.


#16 Grumpy275

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 09:37 PM

As with all motoring / Vehicle regulations the rules are quite difficult to understand. One thing to bear in mind with Interior lights, if they are being used whilst the vehicle is in motion they must not degrade the drivers night vision. This is why Coaches and Buses have a curtain to shield the driver from the light behind him.
If you wish to get her indors to do some map reading you need three things.
1. A flexible lamp or torch perhaps with a magnifier.
2. A good map reading course
3. A lot of patience for when you are told "Take the next turn on the left... just back there"

I hasten to add this is from my experience I am certain there are those who can read maps Its just I have not found one.

You could try Googling Motor Vehicles. Construction and Use. United Kingdom.

#17 francisb8478

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Posted 15 May 2011 - 07:12 AM

If you wish to get her indors to do some map reading you need three things.
1. A flexible lamp or torch perhaps with a magnifier.
2. A good map reading course
3. A lot of patience for when you are told "Take the next turn on the left... just back there"


Not forgetting the old favourite "it doesnt show it on the map"

Then refusing to let you look at the map while you drive and refusing to drive in the dark in an unfamiliar place.

#18 Sectioned Detection

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Posted 15 May 2011 - 10:01 PM

My best (or worst):
"It's not my fault the map just has a pair of boobs on it!"

It was 2 roundabouts under the motorway! :o@

#19 Grumpy275

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Posted 16 May 2011 - 02:30 AM

Not forgetting the old favourite "it doesnt show it on the map"

Then refusing to let you look at the map while you drive and refusing to drive in the dark in an unfamiliar place.

Oh was it you who married my ex wife?

My best (or worst):
"It's not my fault the map just has a pair of boobs on it!"

It was 2 roundabouts under the motorway! :o@

Oh someone else who married her. I didnt know she had been divorced twice?!!!




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