Sound Off: What’s with all the faulty headlights on our roads?

Drawing level with a lorry or car you thought was a motor bike delivers a nasty shock

Dangerous problem: the number of vehicles with faulty headlights appears to be increasing

Dangerous problem: the number of vehicles with faulty headlights appears to be increasing

 

In the past weeks I have become acutely aware of a dangerous problem on our roads. I’m referring to the increasing number of vehicles with faulty headlights. From twilight into full darkness we are absolutely dependent on headlights, especially on unlit country roads. When an approaching vehicle displays a single light it’s natural to expect say, a motor bike, hence the shock when suddenly a car or lorry looms up beside you as you draw level. Recently on the road between two provincial towns – a distance of 22 miles – between 8pm and 9pm, I counted 17 vehicles with faulty headlights. One of those was a huge lorry with a single right front-light. On that narrow country road it was like the sudden appearance of a monster. It left me unnerved.

The problem is not confined to rural areas. On February 10th between 5pm and 5.30pm, I counted 13 vehicles with faulty headlights on a road which included two villages quite close to Dublin, over a distance of six miles.

What’s going on? Are drivers unaware of their dodgy lights? Are they unaware of the danger they present to themselves and other road users? Surely I’m not the only person who is aware of this problem?

I am now so tuned into missing or faulty lights that I just cannot ignore them. I have, however, stopped counting.

Could we as drivers flash the oncoming vehicle twice to alert the driver to the problem and the need to deal with it? Or has anybody out there got a better idea?

Do you have something you’d like to Sound Off about? Email 300 words to magazine@irishtimes.com with “Sound Off” in the subject line

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