Mandatory Daytime Car Headlights

The Swiss Council for Accident Prevention (bfu – Beratungstelle für Unfallverhütung; bpa – bureau de prévention des accidents, upi – ufficio prevention infortuni) has mandated that as of January 1, 2014 using headlights during daytime hours is mandatory.

This regulation is the result of a five year accident analysis of the “Fahren mit Licht am Tag” campaign which showed a reduction by 11.5% for influenceable accidents (two-vehicle collisions) and a reduction of 9.3% for non-influenceable accidents (nighttime and one-vehicle accidents). In particular serious accidents involving cyclists and passengers) were considerably reduced.

Why use headlights?

Using daytime headlights increases the contrast between environment and vehicle and hence the car is better visible. Additionally, distances and speed can be estimated easier. Every other daytime collision is at least partially due to missing the other road traffic participant.

Who is affected?

The new regulation concerns all motor vehicles including privat and delivery vehicles, buses and trucks/lorries, as well as motorised two-wheelers. Mofas, bicycles, e-bikes and agricultural vehicles are exempted, as are vehicles put into circulation before 1970. Ignoring this requirement leads to a CHF 40 fine.

Which car lights can you use?

You can either use your dimmed/dipped headlights or your daytime running lights.

What else should you know?

The mandatory use of daytime headlights is nothing new. Several European countries already have this regulation. Click here for a map by the TCS (Touring Club Switzerland) of countries with this regulation.

Posted on December 12, 2013 by Luitgard Holzleg

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