Ban Xenon Lights
Posted on January 5th, 2011

Letter to the Editor By Dr. Mrs. Mareena Thaha Reffai Dehiwela.

 A new kind of hazard has  been brought onto the roads, the xenon lights. The advertisement says this is 300 times brighter than the normal head lights, and indeed they are!

While they may give greater visibility to the driver of the vehicle having these lights, what they do not realize is the fact that it may almost  blind some other drivers, causing havoc on the roads.

There are no regular checkups needed in this country to continue to possess a driving license. Once someone gets the license no one is checked  for eyesight  again. Many develop early cataract by 40 years and this does not affect day time vision  and even if tested they will have 6/6 vision with or without glasses, as the case may be,  and therefore will pass the driving license test. But when bright light is  flashed onto their eyes the pupils constrict  and  momentarily  blind them. This can have serious effect on someone’s driving.

This can make them suddenly brake or even swerve leading to  accidents.  

This can happen even with ordinary  head lights if the lights are not dipped.

Specially at intersections many keep their  head lights  full on. blinding the oncoming  motorists. Even the  traffic cops do not realize the danger of  this situation. It is high time the cops and drivers are  educated on the importance of using proper head lights and the need to dip the lights when there is an on coming vehicle in front. .

By Dr. Mrs. Mareena Thaha Reffai Dehiwela.

4 Responses to “Ban Xenon Lights”

  1. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:

    In USA, no one can drive with the Head Lights on, unless it is on an isolated road, where one can use the Head Lights. Nevertheless if the Driver spots an oncoming car, whatever the distance, the driver has to immediately dip the lights, until the oncoming car passes,

    The Police is all over the road in the nights, and if a police car spots a car with Head Lights on, he had it. They will be right behind you still you stop off the road. Then you get a handsome prestent by the Police, a $110.00 moving violation ticket. Second offence can go upto $140.00.

    So it is noticed that all the drivers on the road comply with the law. Makes you feel that 99% drivers are gentleman drivers.

    A case in point is that if the car with the Head Lights is going in the opposite direction, to that of a Police Car, The Police car will turn around with sirens, and catch up with the offender within minutes. No Chance.

    Sri Lanka Police has a ready made source of revenue, issuing tickets with those driving with Head Lights, amongst other offences. When a person gets fined once or twice, the bad habit wanes off, because the driver will always be out of pocket.

    The Police should adopt a formidable attitude. Then there will be less accidents.

    Looking at those video clips depicting accidents, the TRI-SHAW, did not stop at the junction, but cruised through, hitting the bus. Same with the Motor Cyclist with pillion rider, who ran into the van. In both cases, The driver and the rider acted irresponsibly, jepordising other innocent lives. It can be tantamount to homicide.

    Once again, talking of USA roads, at a two roads crossing, there are four STOP signs,one for each approaching vehicle to the cross point. and all have to stop, and proceed peacefully, respecting each others right of way.

    The place where those two accidents took place, there were no stop signs at all. So traffic sign infrastructure has to be in place.

  2. Siri Says:

    I would like to add that most factory installed HID lights have a sharp cut off low beam and are properly focussed to conform to the DOT codes. The main offenders are those who install after market units in light fixtures not designed for HID lamps. Another problem is the SUV which has it’s lights mounted higher than in a car and cause dazzle to oncoming drivers. I have not come across anyone in New York USA getting a ticket for driving with high beams. Most people are courteous, but the odd few are a problem. Proper aiming of head lights should be checked when cars are inspected for emissions and fitness. High beams should be used only on unlit roads when there is no oncoming traffic and when not closely following another vehicle. There is no need to ban the use of HID lights when they are properly installed and focussed. They are gaining more and more popularity in new cars now. Regarding stop signs in the USA, all are not 4-way. There are intersections with stop signs on the minor roads only. Having stop signs is one thing, but not obeying the signs is an entirely different thing and the Police should give tickets to those offenders.

  3. Viraj Says:

    I agree with Siri. There is no reason to ban HID lights, almost all never vehicles have HID headlights installed from the factory. I’ve had them on my 2005 Nissan, and now on my 2007 Nissan. The problem is with aftermarket HID kits that are installed in cars, which are not made for HID lights. The regular headlight bulb is halogen, so the housing of the headlight is reflective. Now, when you put an aftermarket HID kit in a halogen housing, it creates tremendous amount of glare for oncoming traffic. I dont know how it is in Sri Lanka, but here in the USA, the HID lights from the factory are 4300k (color temperature). The aftermarket HID kits go range from 3000k(bright yellow fog lights) to 30,000k (deep bright purple). If you get an aftermarket HID kit that is 4300k, then its no problem. BUT most people like the “blue” look like myself, we get the 8000k. I can change my HID bulbs to any color temperature because my car comes with HID’s from the factory, therefore my headlight housing will not reflect any light, they are projector headlights that have sharp cut off lines. I have had several cars with aftermarket lights installed in various color temperatures, even in halogen housings. In New York, aftermarket HID kits are very common, they can be bought for as low $75 dollars for a headlight set. Many cars have them installed, all different shades of white/blue, and it is now illegal here, but the police really don’t enforce it unless you have some crazy bright 30,000k HID kit installed and the police get temporarily blinded themselves. Its a $65 violation.

    Sri Lanka needs to implement basic traffic laws, annual vehicle inspections, emissions testing (especially for those stupid buses). They have to improve and enforce quality of life violations, vehicle safety, traffic safety, and weed out the corruption within the police department. There needs to be basic traffic infrastructure system implemented, it will not only ease up traffic congestion, it will save lives, and improve the quality of life for everyone. The police need to be vigilant on traffic laws.

    Sri Lanka will never get anywhere unless basic laws are enforced. But who am I kidding? The country is turning into a xxxxxxx shit hole.

  4. Leela Says:

    Its not even two years since we finish a thirty year war. Perhaps, it takes a little longer for people and the police to get used to peaceful environment and understand what should be our new priorities. As for me, I understand that these are very easy to say than done for various reasons. Apathy and the couldn’t careless attitude is the biggest of it. Nevertheless, we all should be thankful for Dr. Mrs. Mareena Thaha Reffai for highlighting at least one aspect of many a short coming of road safety. I hope many others too would write about various other short comings for authorities to take notice of them.

    We need to have new NGOs to take up these type of issues with the government for benefit of the public at large. We must rid the present NGOs that wasted millions to hanker after failed policy alternatives or ‘peace’ with terrorists.

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