Currently reading: Government to investigate whether headlights are too bright
Department for Transport will commission an independent report after MPs were petitioned on the issue

The Department for Transport (DfT) has announced that it will commission an independent report on headlight dazzle, acknowledging that “further evidence” is needed on the issue.

The announcement came in response to a petition calling for MPs to review legislation about the brightness of car headlights receiving more than 10,000 signatures.

In response, the DfT announced the plan for the report, saying: “We know that lots of people raise concerns about headlight glare – but also that the police collision statistics don’t show any underlying road safety issue.”

Given the “lack of evidence” on the issues of dazzle and headlight brightness, the report will be used to inform “any further appropriate mitigations”.

The DfT has already moved to tackle the issue of headlight misalignment, having raised the issue at the United Nations’ expert group on vehicle lighting.

“Proposals to amend headlamp aiming rules were agreed in April 2023, together with requirements for mandatory automatic headlamp levelling, which automatically corrects the aim of the headlamps,” added the DfT.

It said that tightened rules on headlight beam alignment are expected to come into force in September 2027 and these “will help alleviate the number of cases where road users are dazzled”.

The announcement of the report comes just months after the RAC called on the DfT to “urgently” look into the issue of dazzle.

A survey of some 2000 motorists by the organisation found that 28% believed most headlights to be too bright.

Of those who complained about brightness, 74% said they were regularly dazzled while driving and 85% said they believed the problem was getting worse.

RAC safety spokesperson Rod Dennis hailed the DfT’s acknowledgement of the issue as “a real turning point”.

“The topic has undoubtedly struck a chord with motorists up and down the country, with many people contacting us directly to call for something to be done,” he added.

Charlie Martin

Charlie Martin Autocar
Title: Editorial Assistant, Autocar

As a reporter, Charlie plays a key role in setting the news agenda for the automotive industry. He joined Autocar in July 2022 after a nine-month stint as an apprentice with sister publication, What Car?. He's previously contributed to The Intercooler, and placed second in Hagerty’s 2019 Young Writer competition with a MG Metro 6R4 feature

He is the proud owner of a Fiat Panda 100HP, and hopes to one day add a lightweight sports car like a Caterham Seven or a Lotus Elise S1 to his collection.

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beechie 2 April 2024
Not asomething that wver bothers me, I'm afraid. Quite the opposite, in fact. I'm appalled by the number of cars with only one headlight and what appears to be one Pifco torch.
catnip 2 April 2024

Its not just the aim of these things, its the quality and colour of the light too. This cold, harsh, very bright light is very tiring on the eyes, especially on long journeys when you're continually faced by it. And I don't think automatic levelling is any sort of solution, reaction times seem slow, and there are so many situations where it doesn't seem to register other traffic at all.

Marc 2 April 2024
About time!!!!

I regularly complain about this and just about everything else, cause I'm old and don't handle change too well. No one ever replies to my complaints, do they think my opinion doesn't count? I'm a tax payer, it's only my opinion that counts!

I want to back to the good old days, the days of shitty dim headlights, carburettor fed engines, no catalytic converters, days when the only battery in my car was the one needed to start it, days when our eyes would water from the fumes from the car in front, when we smoked 100 fags a day, when we weren't told to wear seat belts and cars folded in half in the slightest of accidents. The good old days...

si73 2 April 2024
Silly amusing sarcasm aside, you don't have to go back too far(good old days) to have had a happy medium of good visibility with headlights and none of the glare of the latest types. Neither of my decade old household cars have dim shitty headlights, neither are they the type that blinds the oncoming traffic. Not all progress is beneficial.
Marc 2 April 2024
Passed this now, I'm just sitting waiting for the next bandwagon to jump on and moan about.
289 2 April 2024

Totally agree si73.

Back in the late 70's my MK 2 RS2000 had standard Cibie headlights..... brilliant halogens, my BMW,s from 83 on had good halogen headlights.

I do remember Golf GTI mk1's had glowworm headlights for example....counter productive for a relatively fast car, but by mk4 Golfs onwards fantastic lights....still halogen.

A lot of people complained about Xenons/bi-Xenons, but frankly they didnt bother me. Its the LED's which carry excessive glare, and its because the DfT have concentrated on the wattage of the bulb rather than the Lumens.