Fog Lights Are For FOG Not Bling!

I recently had my closest near miss ever!

The use of fog lights in normal driving conditions is illegal.

(1) A driver may use a fog lamp only in conditions of severely reduced visibility, including fog or snow, but not under clear atmospheric conditions even during the hours of darkness.

(2) A person may use a work lamp only—

(a) when the vehicle to which it is fitted is stationary or travelling slowly; and (b) to illuminate a work area or scene.

(3) The driver of a school bus displaying a specified school bus sign may operate the flashing lights on the sign only—(a) while the school bus is stopped for the purpose of picking up or dropping off school children; and (b) within 20 seconds before, and within 20 seconds after, the period for which the bus is stopped.

It was dark and I was travelling home with my daughter following a car along the highway. I saw the loom of the approaching vehicle but wasn’t prepared for what came next.

From around the bend came came a car with lights ablaze. They weren’t set to high beam but it was sporting the all too familiar sight on New Zealand roads of headlights plus fog lights.

As my eyes readjusted I realised to my horror that the car I was following had braked to turn right. I reacted immediately, swerved and passed it by a hair’s breadth.

The fog lights dashboard symbol illuminate to tell you that your fog lights are on. It is a legal requirement that rear fog lights are illuminated and should be illuminated when visibility is less than around 100 metres. It is an offence to illuminate fog lights when conditions do not call for their use.

Now, I know that when dazzled you need to slow, which I did to a degree but we don’t always, especially on a clear highway.

Unfortunately, for some unfathomable reason I see drivers lighting up the night, every night. It’s not just the boy racers, I see people of all ages and genders.

Either they think a bank of lights looks cool or they feel they deserve a better view of the road, regardless of others travelling in the opposite direction.

Front or rear fog lights are NOT driving lights . They can be up to 10x brighter than normal lights and therefore reserved for only the poorest of driving conditions. It’s actually illegal to drive with them at any other time.

When rear fog lights are illuminated they are so bright that they obscure the brake lights.

When front lights are on they dazzle.

It’s easy to tell if your fog lights are on because you’re alerted by a light on the dashboard.

It’s not cool and it’s certainly not clever having an assortment of lights in any conditions other than pea soup is it?


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