Police expert warns of elderly drivers getting dazzled by bright headlights
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Chief Constable Jo Shiner, appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to speak with presenter Nicky Campbell and to answer pressing road questions from listeners.
One caller, Michael from Sale, was concerned about dazzling headlights from other vehicles, adding that he went to an optician to see if the problem was on his end.
The 80-year-old continued, saying: “I had a recent eye test and been reassured by the optician.
“But that led to a conversation about the number of people who had complained to her about the very same thing.
“And I just wondered what, if anything, is being done to address that?”
Jo Shiner, who is also roads policing lead for the National Police Chiefs’ Council, responded to the question and the fears that some motorists have when driving at night.
She said: “Some of the new vehicles have the automatic headlights so they dip and raise automatically.
“We have definitely noticed an increase in terms of some of the conversation and noise around this
“In fact, there was a discussion with one of the user forums the other day, so I don’t think it’s just you.
“It’s definitely others that have noticed it and we’ll continue to try to understand.”
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She added that the police forces would also continue to make people aware that they need to dim their headlights when appropriate so they don’t dazzle other drivers.
Rule 114 of the Highway Code states that drivers must not use any lights in a way which would dazzle or cause discomfort to other road users.
Motorists should only use front or rear fog lights when visibility is seriously reduced and they must turn them off when visibility improves.
There have recently been fears that “ultra-powerful” LED lights could be dazzling and distract elderly drivers from being able to properly concentrate on the road.
The College of Optometrists has warned that some of its members are seeing an increase in the number of patients who are taking themselves off the road.
These problems are exacerbated further at night, when the lights appear brighter, especially for those who may have existing eye issues.
Research from the RAC revealed that 16 percent of all motorists avoid driving at night because of the intensity of some headlights on the road.
This rises to a staggering 25 percent for those over the age of 25 who have stopped driving at darker hours.
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