New lighting standards in Canada seek to thwart ‘phantom vehicles’

December 28, 2021

Land Line Staff

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Citing the risk posed by “phantom vehicles,” Transport Canada has introduced new lighting standards to help vehicles and drivers see and be seen.

The new standard, which took effect on Sept. 1, applies to all vehicles, including commercial trucks.

Vehicles driven in the dark without lights, or “phantom vehicles,” are a serious safety risk, Transport Canada said. Some drivers think a lit-up dashboard means their lights are on, which may not be true.

Known as the Canadian Vehicle Lighting Regulation, the new law requires changes to the way vehicle headlights operate in Canada.

Those changes include requiring vehicles with daytime running lights to also automatically activate the taillights. Headlights, taillights, and side marker lights will have to turn on automatically when it’s dark out. And dashboard lights must remain dark until headlights are turned on, to make sure the driver realizes that the vehicle’s lights are off.

Transport Canada first announced the proposed changes in 2019. No similar rule has been proffered in the U.S.

More headlight news

In October, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety released a study suggesting that the quality of headlights can reduce night crashes. According to the paper, vehicles with better headlight visibility have lower night crash rates. LL

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