[200q20v] Re: [s-cars] to fog or not to fog...

Phil Rose pjrose at frontiernet.net
Wed Mar 21 14:56:34 EST 2001

At 9:16 AM -0800 3/21/01, PramTT wrote:
>  >
>>Despite my earlier diatribe I have no problem whatever with the appropriate
>>use of fogs. Just please reduce your forward lighting to a maximum of two
>>lamps, either low-beams or fogs, whatever is best given the conditions at
>>hand, in the presence of oncoming traffic, or when following another
>>vehicle. When you are alone on the road - go wild!
>  >-glen
>  >
>I choose not to agree with the "two lights" suggestion.

Well, but it's a law in many places, isn't it?

>Most people that choose to run the fog lights (appropriately aimed) 
>with their low beam to increase light intensity to improve their 
>night vision.


The problem is that the vast majority of people actually using 
foglights haven't made much of a conscious decision. "Most" people 
use the aux. lights because they're already installed and/or they 
think it looks cool/sporty. In fact I'd venture that a large 
percentage of drivers don't even know that they're turned on (or how 
to turn them off). They typically haven't a clue about aiming and 
don't think about the effect they have on the driver who's ahead. The 
exceptions, such as yourself, have keen regard for what the effect on 
others might be. But you're pretty rare exceptions to the rule.

Hence,  until there's a requirement for *all* aux. lights to be 
properly aimed and have sharp cut-off, I think it's not unreasonable 
to have a rule to make it obligatory for _everyone_ to temporarily 
turn off fog/driving lights in consideration of oncoming traffic and 
when behind another vehicle. If your area has no such regulation, 
then you should have a clear conscience about your carefully aimed, 
low cutoff aux. lights being on full-time. But I hope everyone would 
verify how  their aux. lights (aiming and cut-off) _actually_  look 
to oncoming drivers (by switching cars with a friend some night.)

When there's a law restricting aux lights in one's area, I couldn't 
support the rationalization that claims, "Well, it may be a good rule 
for others, but I choose to ignore it because _my_ foglights are 
carefully aimed, etc." Obviously the rule becomes ineffective when 
anyone feels free declare themself to be an exception. When Joe Blow 
in his Explorer with glaring aux. lights sees you failing to quench 
your lights, he thinks. "Screw it, nobody else is bothering, so I 
needn't do it either." The fact that your lights are non-offensive 
(while his are blinding) is a point that he misses completely. I'm 
sorry for sounding so "preachy", but this is a sore issue for me, too.

Many traffic rules need to be designed for the "average" driver (and 
vehicle),  so it's unfortunate that we tolerate our driver/vehicle 
standards being so pitifully "low" in the USA.  That also goes for 
the DOT standards that allowed a decade of p*ss-poor Audi lighting.

>The key word is appropriately designed/aimed fog lights should not 
>have any more lights shined towards oncoming driver. Fog lights are 
>actually supposed to have sharper cut-off than low beam.

Yes, true, but see above.



Phil Rose
Rochester, NY
mailto:pjrose at frontiernet.net

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