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An appeal to drivers everywhere: Turn on your lights!

Published January 31, 2013

It was foggy, wet and miserable in the GTA this past Monday.

And – an old beef, I know – about 90 per cent of the cars on the road did not have their lights on, just their Daytime Running Lights.

Which meant of course that especially on the highway, you couldn’t see them until you were right on top of them.

I really wish I could pull people over and ask them, “Did you notice that the car ahead of you just now did not have any taillights on? That you could barely see it in the haze and the road spray? Doesn’t it make you even the slightest bit curious whether other drivers are saying the same about your car?”

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I mean, what were these people thinking about as they drove through this mess?

Or are they in a fog in the metaphoric sense, too?

Some of you folks out there are much savvier about this whole InterWeb FaceTube thing than I am.

Somehow, that set of media has managed to make cats and hamburgers world-wide phenomena.

Geez; it has made Justin Bieber the world’s Number One Twit.

Isn’t there some way we can use modern information technology to get the message across:

TURN ON YOUR LIGHTS!

Okay, so maybe turning on your lights isn’t “cool”, hence isn’t worthy of attention by this cohort of our population.

But I don’t know that there’s anything all that cool about standing at the side of the highway exchanging insurance information with the guy who just rammed into the back of your car.

Or, waiting for an ambulance.

I must say, it was considerably better in the evening Monday. Maybe people understood that after 5 p.m., it is supposed to be “dark”, and lights might be a good idea.

But there are always a few. Just last evening, 7:15 p.m., 401 eastbound at the airport, a guy in a newish Subaru Legacy (I think; obviously, it was hard to see…) was cruising along, nearly invisible from behind. As I drove up to then pass him, I flicked my lights off and on (in the new Range Rover, you can actually do that; you can’t in most new cars) and tooted my horn to try and indicate that he had a problem.

I could see his dash lights were on which, as I have noted several times, should not be allowed when DRL is active by Transport Canada regulation because of exactly this reason – it fools you into thinking your real lights ARE on.

He pulled on his turn signal lever to flash his high beams at me. Not sure what he thought he was trying to communicate to me.

But he never turned on his real lights.

Since Transport Canada doesn’t seem to think this is an issue, and I’ve received lots of feedback from you to indicate that I’m not alone in thinking this IS an issue, I am appealing for help.

I assume you all know how to fix this for ourselves – always run with full lights on, all the time.

You do, don’t you?

I do. Always have, since I first started to drive.

It’s the only sensible thing to do

But how do we fix this for the Great Unwashed out there?

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