Be Seen – Headlights ON

When you do as much driving Monday to Friday as I do, you really need to be on the ball, to quite frankly stay alive. My average working week to and from home is around 1,000 kilometres (pronounced “kill – o -metres” please note radio & TV journos) and boy do I see and experience some crazys out there.

For as long as I can remember it’s always been accepted that day time driving (and night-time please !) with your headlights ON particularly on rural roads is a smart, practical, defensive driving tactic.  Weather conditions summer & winter can make the simple act of picking out an oncoming vehicle a hit and miss affair. Judging distances between you and a vehicle driving towards you can also be a challenge, particularly when overtaking the slower vehicle in front of yours. On rural roads shadows from trees can sometimes camouflage oncoming vehicles etc. Bottom line is, a car travelling towards you during daylight hours with headlights on low beam is far easier to detect, distances are more accurately assessed and road safety is generally enhanced.

Not everybody agrees with my logic which is commonplace on many topics I’m sure, BUT I don’t give a rats. If 1 head on collision a day on rural roads can be avoided via headlights being turned on  MISSION ACCOMPLISHED, JIM.

What really annoys the hell out of me with driving on country roads is the lack of example displayed by most emergency vehicles not driving with headlights on. Whether it’s Ambulance, Police, State Emergency, Fire etc. very few drive with headlights on in daytime hours. For the record, I WAS most impressed this morning to come across a Police vehicle with headlights on. My wife who was with me thinks I’m an eccentric nut on occasions, which doesn’t phase me. In fact, I largely like being me, for better or worse ! But back to my story. On two occasions I’ve rung radio talk back programmes to discuss my ‘daylight headlight’ stance with a Police spokesperson, one of which was South Australian Police Commissioner, Mal Hyde. There was no disagreement with my logic or genuine desire to make our rural roads safer. Trouble is it is not a ruling or standard policy for emergency vehicles to adhere to, which I think is crazy. Nearly as crazy as those people who are either thick, half asleep, drugged out, irresponsible, immature or too busy eating breakfast (!), doing their hair, texting, putting the lippy on or talking on the hand-held (grrrr) mobile ‘phone on a grey, cloudy, foggy, rainy and generally poor visibility day with NO BLOODY LIGHTS ON. The only answer is make it compulsory on rural roads to drive with headlights on, day & night. There….I feel better now.