CABBIE’S COMMENT: When the fog lifts

Dave Humphrey

Dave Humphrey - Credit: Archant

How many times have you heard or even used phrases such as “nanny state” or “health and safety gone mad”?

From training courses in the construction industry lasting an hour on how to lift a box. To spending four years travelling rural India where life is deemed so sacred, and yet, with no health and safety, also lost so cheaply! Both sides of the coin have been experienced.

Yes a balance is needed and although I believe an argument may exist life is becoming a bit too dictatorial in this country, there are laws which are no-brainers, not only as the act they prohibit is dangerous but because no TRUE benefit exists in its defiance. One example is this ever increasing belief by many car owners that fog lights should be used as some type of fashion accessory.

Some attempt justifications like “they help me see small animals in the verges on rural roads” of course complete nonsense. The downward angle of fog lights must be greater than a dipped headlight. The area of illumination is so close to the vehicle that any speed over 10-15mph and they are effectively useless under clear conditions, anyone relying on them to aid their vision at higher speeds is looking in the wrong place.

TRUTH: people do it because they think it looks cool, if you grew up in the 70’s and look back at old pictures it soon becomes clear our definition of “cool” is not fixed! What equally fascinates and frustrates is it’s not just youngsters who switch these lights on when they jump in their cars, where possibly a weak evolutional argument can be made for showing off, but it’s also older drivers!

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REALITY: a statistical assessment concluded “glare is a contributing factor in crashes”...“in general, older drivers are more likely to get involved in crashes if glare obstructs their vision”...”most of such drivers end up striking other vehicles”

We could all cause tragedy through mistake, it’s human to err, but this is a deliberate conscious and pointless act. With the risk of offending some whilst others scoff behind the bravery of the extreme odds against a personal experience, I invite young and not so young alike to imagine a small child dressed in black, face soaked in grief, eyes soaked in tears, and asking why? How would you explain they lost their grandparents so you could look “cool”?

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