Foglights

Submitted: Tuesday, Jun 24, 2003 at 15:41
ThreadID: 5627 Views:1229 Replies:10 FollowUps:6
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Does anyone feel the same way as I do about those damn foglights that are now fitted to lots of new cars? The people that drive around with these lights illuminated at the same time as their dipped headlights annoy the hell out of me. I believe this practice to be totally inconsiderate, anti-social and stupidly misguided.
Foglights are designed to be a wide flat beam to illuminate the road in fog without causing dazzle by lighting up the fog itself. They should be used (in fog) with only side (parking) lights. It strikes me that the miscreants are just showing off and are often the same people who are hanging too close to your tail when you're already doing 105k's on the freeway, hasseling and dazzling at the same time. The problem is exacerbated by the manufacturers, whose switching design allows the foglights to work at the same time as the headlights. My Mark 2 Jag had foglights,and the switch allowed either headlights or foglights, designed in 1962! Similarly those European or Jap cars with rear foglights are equally annoying when the driver (also misguided) uses them in rain. We just don't have the necessary conditions to need them, (although my LandRover has a rear foglight). They're designed to stop tailend collisions on European freeways when the visibility is down to nearly zero. Even out on the Calder where I live (Gisborne, Woodend area) it would rarely get bad enough for that, and even then they should be turned off when the car behind gets close enough to know you're there. Any comments?
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Reply By: Truckster (Vic) - Tuesday, Jun 24, 2003 at 15:49

Tuesday, Jun 24, 2003 at 15:49
" I believe this practice to be totally inconsiderate, anti-social and stupidly misguided"

and illegal....
AnswerID: 23374

Follow Up By: Rhubarb - Tuesday, Jun 24, 2003 at 18:46

Tuesday, Jun 24, 2003 at 18:46
The use of front fog lights is only illegal in some states unless there is poor visibilty.

In Victoria you can quite happily annoy everyone with your fog lights as it is only illegal to use rear fog lights, unless of course there is poor visibilty.

Which also means you can get away with using them in the rain (anywhere) - as this detracts from visibilty - even though they are worse than ever in wet conditions as the reflect of the wet road & 'dazzle'.
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FollowupID: 15567

Follow Up By: crowe - Wednesday, Jun 25, 2003 at 12:11

Wednesday, Jun 25, 2003 at 12:11
you would think that those people that drive with foglights on would encounter other people with foglights on and relise how annoying it is and turn them off, i am of the opinion now that all drivers who drive with their foglights on relise that they are annoying but wont turn them off.

Hence, I can now totally justify to myself that they are ignorant and have choosen to be so, hitting them with high beam is justified, illegal but justified.
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FollowupID: 15657

Reply By: Member - Toonfish - Tuesday, Jun 24, 2003 at 16:29

Tuesday, Jun 24, 2003 at 16:29
it was interesting ford had to recall some models back due due a design fault and fog lamps were too high for ADR .
check out any subaru who should know better.1999 NISSAN NAVARA DUALCAB
DIESEL 3.2 & SPRINGY CARLTON TOY
AnswerID: 23378

Reply By: Pete G - Tuesday, Jun 24, 2003 at 16:47

Tuesday, Jun 24, 2003 at 16:47
Finally some asked what I was not game to.

Fully agree that they should be proper fog lights restricted to use in fog. Also those bright red tail lights. I do 6-800km's per week at night city/freeway/country and whilst many professional drivers do 5-10 times more than that I can say I have enough of them on 2 nights a week.

I have asked DOTARS if they will provide me with a copy of the ADR's gratis - they won't - so how is one to know what the law is.

You may be pleased to know that last week Ford recalled some vehicles on this issue and I read an RAA of SA publication recently that poured scorn on the inappropriate use of them.

Unfortunately it is illegal to use one's high beam on the offenders.

They should be referred to as W#nker Lights.

To my reading in NSW they are only allowed to be used in periods of low visibility and IMHO that should exclude rain as they reflect an undue amount of light from a wet surface. To my reading for a vehicle to be legal it must have a headlight minimum 500mm above the road - so that rules most out anyway if used standalone. Also in NSW I have been advised that it is only legal to show 2 headlamps on low beam (plus parkers)

Unfortunately the relationship between ADR's and Aust. Standards. and the legislation of individual states is at best extremely complex. Hence the manufacturers are able to fit them in a new found environment where DOTARS takes a QA based attitude to compliance rather than forcing the Mfrs/Importers to submit a vehicle for formal inspection and approval.

I do find in the main that the improper use of these is a City based phenomen although like any disease it soon spreads.

Another point with them is that being low down they are more prone to be knocked out of alignment and also having a shallower angle to the road they are more likely to dazzle you on a crest - then it is 4 lights you cop instead of 2. I have also noticed some are significantly brighter than the low beams

Regards

PeteG
AnswerID: 23381

Reply By: Rhubarb - Tuesday, Jun 24, 2003 at 18:54

Tuesday, Jun 24, 2003 at 18:54
Regarding the use of fog lights with parks/low beams.

While fog light are designed to be used with parkers only (no low beam) it is illegal to drive in Australia (at night) with only your parkers and fog lights on.

Besides the fact it would be too dangerous to drive withe only fog lights and parkers with most standard factory fitted fog lights as they appear to be only there for cosmetic affect and aren't very effective in fog anyhow.

AnswerID: 23390

Reply By: howesy - Tuesday, Jun 24, 2003 at 19:18

Tuesday, Jun 24, 2003 at 19:18
Yes they can be blinding when they strike you at the right angle.
Yes it is illegal in NSW to use them when it is not inclement weather.

What makes it worse is when the offender is NSW highway Patrol which have seen on more than one occassion. When the law enforcers have no respect for many of the traffic laws they uphold how do we expect these inconsiderate persons to give a damn or worry about consequences. ( the do as I say and not as i do syndrome)
AnswerID: 23392

Follow Up By: Pete G - Tuesday, Jun 24, 2003 at 19:39

Tuesday, Jun 24, 2003 at 19:39
Howesy,
My sentiments exactly - seems that standards are slipping badly lately.

I guess it is time to get out the pen and paper and try to get something done about it.

Regards

PeteG
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FollowupID: 15572

Follow Up By: howesy - Wednesday, Jun 25, 2003 at 11:00

Wednesday, Jun 25, 2003 at 11:00
Maybe someone in our constabulary who is in a position to address this matter reads the forum, who knows.
One thing I know is that I'm sick of watching Police cars park illegally to go to the cake shop, constantly doing 10 or more km above the speed limit, not use blinkers to change lanes, and doing illegal turns and U turns over unbroken lines because its convenient for them. When I first got my licence in 1979, if your speedo broke you just followed the copper because they always obeyed the road rules unless they were expedited to a job in which case they had lights and siren.
I was brought up to have the greatest respect for police but that respect is fast becoming a joke when they constantly imply by their actions that they are above the law.
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FollowupID: 15638

Follow Up By: howesy - Wednesday, Jun 25, 2003 at 11:00

Wednesday, Jun 25, 2003 at 11:00
Maybe someone in our constabulary who is in a position to address this matter reads the forum, who knows.
One thing I know is that I'm sick of watching Police cars park illegally to go to the cake shop, constantly doing 10 or more km above the speed limit, not use blinkers to change lanes, and doing illegal turns and U turns over unbroken lines because its convenient for them. When I first got my licence in 1979, if your speedo broke you just followed the copper because they always obeyed the road rules unless they were expedited to a job in which case they had lights and siren.
I was brought up to have the greatest respect for police but that respect is fast becoming a joke when they constantly imply by their actions that they are above the law.
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FollowupID: 15639

Follow Up By: sajh - Tuesday, Jul 01, 2003 at 13:17

Tuesday, Jul 01, 2003 at 13:17
I am one of the NSW Constabulary and I used to issue infringements for these lights as they are dangerous to oncoming vehicles, and they annoy me. We have been advised recently by the RTA to stop issuing them as there is some kind of re-evaluation of the exact offence. At this time we have not received any updated news, or at least it hasn't filtered down to the ones doing the work. This is why they are not being penalised in NSW. Hope this clears it up a bit.
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FollowupID: 16051

Reply By: Frank - Tuesday, Jun 24, 2003 at 21:10

Tuesday, Jun 24, 2003 at 21:10
Just do what I do, hit them with 4 x 130 watt spot lights. Might make them think twice when they get some of their own medicine back.
AnswerID: 23402

Reply By: Steve L - Wednesday, Jun 25, 2003 at 08:45

Wednesday, Jun 25, 2003 at 08:45
These lights are a real problem, though the other problem is that the police are not enforcing these laws. I regularly see a Prado driving after dark in my suburb with sidelights and fog lights only on, and in a 15 minute wait at the train station for a bus I count between 10-15 cars passing with their fog lights on - at $80 a pop that's around the $800+ revenue mark for a quarter of an hour (though we all know that revenue raising isn't what the police are all about on the roads - but that would easily fund the additional staff numbers needed to police this and other areas that seem to be neglected at present).

I have only ever heard of one person being fined for using their fog lights incorrectly, and he had the hide to write to the local paper and complain that the police should be doing something more useful with their time!! He sure got a serve from me the next week in the same paper.
AnswerID: 23441

Reply By: Member - Rohan K - Wednesday, Jun 25, 2003 at 12:37

Wednesday, Jun 25, 2003 at 12:37
I guess it comes down to having a nationally consistent law that manufactures could then build to. Both my Suby Outback and the pathfinder have these "fog" lights and on both vehicles they can be operated independantly of the headlights so I can run parkers and fogs, parkers headlights and fogs or parkers, high beam and fogs. Note also that they have clear lenses even though it is widely recognised that "fog" lights work better, and generate less of the glare mentioned above, with amber/yellow lenses.

Of course the rform will never happen since the problem is that state governments need to justify their existense with state-based laws. Without a state-based legal system, we would only need a federal government and local government. Imagine all the useless bastards that would be out of a cushy job and outrageous pension plan. Imagine all the money we taxpayers would save!!Talk is cheap ...
Rohan (Sydney)
AnswerID: 23466

Reply By: phil - Wednesday, Jun 25, 2003 at 18:03

Wednesday, Jun 25, 2003 at 18:03
For a fog light to be effective it must be designed to have a very sharp vertical cut off vith NO stray light above. The colour is not really important. It is the stray light which reflects back to the driver and makes it hard to see the road. Therefore they should not be used with headlights as well because this defeats the purpose.
However... most of the so called "fog lights" are actually driving lights with no attempt to provide a proper pattern, and that is why they appear brighter than the dipped headlights.
I remember reading, about 25 years ago!, an article in a motoring magazine, which discussed the requirements for fog lights and gave the results of testing of many brands. I wonder if anything similar has been done since?
Phil
AnswerID: 23498

Reply By: Simon - Sunday, Jun 29, 2003 at 20:47

Sunday, Jun 29, 2003 at 20:47
Personaly Id like to mount a couple of Predator style lights under my bumper to light up drivers with there fog lights on.

There is no reason to use them, even in fog.
I owned a VX SS Commodore (which would be on of the brightest around) and they didnt provide anymore useable light at any time.

Some fog lights are not to bad to look into at night but in wet weather (when you ARE allowed to use them) they reflect off the wet road and double the dazzle.

I say they should be banned from being used on low beam.
And rear fog lights should be banned altogethor.

AnswerID: 23792

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