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Police Forum Police Head Mod: Skidmark
Questions & info about the Motor Vehicle Act. Mature discussion only.

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Old 01-29-2010, 09:17 PM   #1
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DriveSmartBC - Overdriving Headlights

Have you ever given any thought to how far you can see at night as you are driving along down the highway? High beam headlights seem to overpower the dark, but there are a lot of situations where we are limited to using just the low beams. I was required to calculate the safe speed using only low beam headlights at a seminar and I was surprised at the result.

Most drivers can see a dark object at night with low beam headlamps at a distance of 24 to 25 metres. The average perception/reaction time is about a second and a half. Using these facts, the result is a speed of 38 kilometres per hour. If you travel any faster, or don't pay full attention, you will collide with the object before stopping.

Dark objects such as pedestrians and deer are commonly found on the roads we travel at night. Granted, there is other light to see by in town, but out of town approaching and passing other vehicles we are hurtling along at 80 and 90 or more, and using only the low beams. This seems to be a compelling reason to be a little more careful with our speed at night to me.

Now consider what could happen if one of your headlights were not working, or that both were so coated with dirt from winter driving that the full light output was not available. Complaints about vehicles with only one headlight are common and one only has to observe and count to see that this is true. For your own safety it is well worth the time and money to keep your headlights clean and in proper working order.

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Old 01-30-2010, 03:49 AM   #2
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I've always wondered why most cars have low-beams aimed so low from factory. Sure there's the glare issue but it does me no good if my beams only light up the shoes of a jaywalker. Most headlights simply don't give off enough "extra" light above the cutoff.
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Old 01-31-2010, 01:33 PM   #3
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I saw "overdriving headlights" and I thought, "What does that mean, cranking up the voltage so it makes them brighter? MORE POWER!! (insert Tim Allen grunt here)"
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Old 01-31-2010, 08:49 PM   #4
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Don't stop until the paint bubbles on the trunk lid of the car in front of you. No, wait, that's this week's column...
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Old 02-05-2010, 09:07 AM   #5
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This is related to something I wanted to have confirmed. I currently have a pair of Hella 1000FF driving lights mounted in the stock fog light location on my 02 wrx, which is of course illegal because they aren't wired to only come on with the high beams, and also a bit useless as they're mounted too low. So I've ordered replacement foglamps and am going to mount the driving lights at a similar level to the headlights like so:


Now, as long as I have these properly wired to only come on with the highbeams, and have them properly aimed, I should be complying with 4.24 of the regs, and not have them classified as off-road lights, correct?

Stock Subaru highbeams have all the illumination power of a birthday cake candle.
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Old 02-05-2010, 11:14 AM   #6
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do they come with a D.O.T Approval for on Road Use?
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Old 02-05-2010, 12:34 PM   #7
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Yep.
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Old 02-05-2010, 08:17 PM   #8
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If you'll excuse the pun...what is their wattage? If they're over 70 watts they are not legal. If you wish them to be considered "off road lights" they must be covered with an opaque cover whenever you are on a "highway ( all legal definitions), thus making it a waste of time and money to have them.
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Old 02-08-2010, 08:53 AM   #9
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Turns out they're 55W, so well within the range. I'll try and have them aimed properly as well.
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Old 02-08-2010, 12:06 PM   #10
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Stock Subaru highbeams have all the illumination power of a birthday cake candle.
HIR High-beams are your friend
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Old 02-08-2010, 01:29 PM   #11
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whats the point of having fog lights that only come on with high beams? You do know that fog lights are used during foggy conditions right? If you drive through fog with your highbeams on you'll just blind yourself...
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Old 02-08-2010, 01:35 PM   #12
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whats the point of having fog lights that only come on with high beams? You do know that fog lights are used during foggy conditions right? If you drive through fog with your highbeams on you'll just blind yourself...
Subaru's are wired so that the fogs will only operate with the low-beam headlamps. If oyu flick on the highs they turn off. If you have the low beams off they turn off.

IMO, lighting laws should require that the fogs can be operated without any lights on, including DRLs.
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Old 02-08-2010, 02:16 PM   #13
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so whats used for DRL's then? On my car foglights are DRL's, when i turn on my headlights, i have the option to turn on the foglights as well. If i turn my high beams on, the fog lights go off as far as i know... so if you are going to be wiring the foglights separate, why not wire them so that you can turn them on whenever, not only with highbeams...
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Old 02-08-2010, 02:33 PM   #14
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so whats used for DRL's then? On my car foglights are DRL's, when i turn on my headlights, i have the option to turn on the foglights as well. If i turn my high beams on, the fog lights go off as far as i know... so if you are going to be wiring the foglights separate, why not wire them so that you can turn them on whenever, not only with highbeams...
I think that was a typo. The factory fogs do not operate with the high-beams on.

Depending on the model/year, the DRLs are either the low-beam headlamps run at ~65% power or the high-beams run at low power and are activated when the parking brake is released.

The fog lights are on their own switch and turn off when the low-beam head light switch is turned off.

I would much rather the fog lights operate on their own as it defeats their purpose when the low-beams back-scatter in fog and snow, but they are in compliance with our antiquated lighting regulations.

As long as it says DOT, right?
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Old 02-17-2010, 08:13 PM   #15
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Sorry if I wasn't clear: I've ordered new fogs for the stock fog location and relay (only with low-beams), and I'm moving the driving lights to come on with the highbeams.
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