MRF Comments On Daytime Running Lights

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation, MRF, submitted comments to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, (NHTSA) on the proposed rule change for Daytime Running Lights. The NHTSA issued a proposed rule change for Daytime Running Lights (DRL's) in Docket No. NHTSA 98-4124. The purpose of the rule change is twofold; first is to harmonize the standard specifying intensity of DRL's and second, to reduce the intensity of the DRL's for motor vehicles. NHTSA Administrator DR. Ricardo Martinez stated "these changes are in response to hundreds of complaints from the public about glare from these optional devices."

According to NHTSA the rule sets the intensity of DRL's to one quarter of the intensity of the low beam headlight. This change would be phased in over the next four years following final acceptance of the proposed rule.

The MRF made the following comments to the rule as it has been proposed:

  1. The MRF prefers motorcycles to be specifically exempted from the intensity reductions proposed. The current interpretationas stated by an official at NHTSA is that motorcycles are exempt because they are not named as being effected by this rule. Specifically exempting motorcycles now will avoid the possibility of a different interpretation in the future.
  2. We agree the proposed use of turn signal/DRL's as describe on page 37 is the best avenue from the motorcycling standpoint. The turn signal approach along with the reduced intensities will ensure motorcycles will stand out in the visual 'noise' that they seem to be lost in now.
  3. We would also like to see an on/off switch option for DRL's. Hardwiring of DRL's removes the driver's ability to discontinue use when conditions warrant.

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation would like motorcycles to be given full consideration throughout the rulemaking process. Of all the vehicles on the roadways motorcycles can benefit most from the conspicuity of day time running lights.

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