By on March 22, 2018

It’s a problem — one I’m sure you’ve witnessed. A hapless driver, plodding along a darkened highway with no taillights illuminated, mistakenly thinking their lights are on thanks to a bright dashboard and flaccid daytime running lights.

High on poutine and maple syrup, Transport Canada is having no more of it, announcing a new mandate requiring all new cars sold in the Great White North to have extra illumination starting in 2021.

The initiative also proves that someone within the Canadian government has a sense of humour, as Transport Canada says they’re going “ghostbusting to target phantom vehicles.” Break out the ECTO-1!

Transport Canada minister Marc Garneau, who has logged 677 hours as a spacefaring astronaut, described vehicles which drive in the dark with no lights on as “phantom vehicles,” a phrase keeping in line with the ghostbusting theme. Posing a safety risk, they are difficult to see in low-light conditions. Given that most of Canada is plunged into wintery darkness for what seems like eleven months of the year, this is not a wholly bad observation.

The safety standard requires all new cars sold in Canada as of 2021 to be more visible in low-light conditions, and will require manufacturers to build vehicles that do one of the following:

  • Have daytime running lights and tail lights come on when the vehicle instrument panel is illuminated and the vehicle is in operation;
  • Automatically turn on the headlights, tail lights, and side marker lights in low-light conditions; or
  • Keep the driver’s instrument panel dark so the driver knows to turn on all the lights.

Some idiots drivers believe an illuminated instrument panel means the headlights and tail lights are already on, which may not be the case. Vehicles imbued with snazzy TFT screens ahead of the driver are often brighter than the sun, leading more than a few bewildered pilots to blithely claw their way along the freeway without giving any thought whatsoever to the status of their outward illumination or their fellow drivers.

“Phantom vehicles have been a nuisance and a safety risk on Canada’s roads for many years and I’m proud our Government is doing something about it. The new measures we’re taking will improve nighttime visibility and safety,” said Mr. Garneau, who is not currently wearing a space suit.

Some may grumble about Daddy Government legislating more equipment installed on our cars but, in this case, I’m okay with it. We’re never going to train all drivers to be as alert as we are. Not everyone is a gearhead (yes, I know that’s hard to believe) and, in fact, I remain convinced that a great cadre of people see the car as nothing more than an appliance to be tolerated. Look at the crowd who want us all in hypoallergenic autonomous pods, fer chrissakes.

Chime in below if you’ve ever encountered one of these mooks who drive without turning on their lights. The best story will be awarded $100 in valuable TTAC Bonus Bucks, which are completely fictional and not valuable at all. Points are doubled if the story includes a reference to ghostbusting.

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99 Comments on “Light It Up: Canucks to Mandate Taillight Illumination...”


  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    No stories but I unfortunately come across at least one of this per week on the 407. Generally driving a white coloured, late model German sedan/CUV or Lexus.

  • avatar
    nvinen

    Mandating that lights should come on automatically when it’s dark is a no-brainer. The parts cost about 10c (OK, maybe $1 by the time you have a housing for the sensor and so on). I see so many cars driving at night with no lights, it’s just stupid.

    The only way to turn off the automatic lights should be a button which resets the next time the ignition is cycled so you can’t have stupid situations like mechanics who turn off your automatic lights and then don’t turn them back on when they give the car back.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      I vote that anytime automatic lights come on, they’re set to low beam. So, ya know, you’re not blinding people for 56 miles before you realize it.

    • 0 avatar
      snakebit

      Great idea, and I’d go further and discourage the practice of covering taillights with either stencils(paying attention, Dodge truck aftermarket?)or darkening taillight lens solely to better match the paint of the vehicle. There’s a reason for taillights, and it’s not simply to be pretty and match the vehicle. It’s to notice you and your ride when you’re signalling, slowing down, or stopping. In addition to nighttime driving, it’s important to see other cars when the weather is bad, and for you Massachusetts folks, it’s the law. If you need to turn your wipers on for driving, you also need to turn on your lights.

      • 0 avatar
        focus-ed

        I can see no particular need for low beam headlights in inclement weather – half-decent drls are fine (as long as lights are not really needed to see the road ahead) and cause less glare for oncoming traffic. OTOH, taillights should be on, especially as most drivers fancy camo gray or other not really colors. It’s amazing how many clueless drivers ride at dusk/night with drls only and can’t figure out why someone flashes or event cuts light on/off to alert them to this fact (some seem to have no idea where’s the switch in their expensive new ride).

        • 0 avatar
          JimC2

          If you only flash them then they’ll still be able to see without their headlights on. It’s only when you blind them with your high beams and they can’t see do they realize they forgot their headlights. It’s a lot like ripping off the bandaid. Sure, it hurts a bit, but it’s for the better- and they’re more likely to remember tomorrow night, and the night after that…

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          @focus-ed – the reason why one turns one one’s lights in inclement weather is to turn on all of the lights on a vehicle to make your vehicle more visible to everyone else from all angles. DRL’s are just in the front. You turn on your “low beams” and that turns on marker lights and tail lights.

      • 0 avatar
        burgersandbeer

        I thought modifying taillights and headlamp lenses was already a violation, just rarely enforced. Same category as all the non-compliant aftermarket lights and sketchy HID kits.

        As far as turning the lights on when using the wipers, it would be convenient if automatic driving lights would take care of that. I guess it wasn’t law when many of those systems were engineered. Maybe newer cars do this.

        • 0 avatar
          forum1

          Lou_Bc, it depends on the vehicle. For example, I’ve seen BMWs that if the DRL feature is enabled the taillight running lights also come one. So no, not all cars need to have their headlights on to have the rear running lights on.

          burgersandbeer, it is also my understanding that lamp/lens modifications that reduce the light output below DOT spec is illegal. Likewise, there are limits on how much light they are allowed to output. Enforcement is often a joke. As for headlights/running lights forced on with wipers, that’s another thing that I’ve seen assorted vehicles do for ages. For example, I know the 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee and many other Chrysler vehicles of that vintage had a setting for this in the fancy overhead multi-function display/computer. In some locations it is the law to have headlights/running lights on with the wipers.

  • avatar
    thirty-three

    This is a daily occurrence for me, and it’s a problem because half of my commute is on a curvy, poorly-lit, two-lane road. Canadian cars already have DRL, lighting up the taillights too shouldn’t add too much cost or complexity.

  • avatar
    Carrera

    Well yes, these are the unintended consequences of DRLs. We’ve never had this problem until they came along. I work near a major international airport and daily I see this happening at least 3-4 times daily.Tourists renting cars, unfamiliar with them, driving oblivious to the fact that their tail lights are off. They have their headlights on (dlr) so why worry? I honk my horn flash my lights but they probably think I am a psychotic, gun owning American who is a cowboy and owns 3-4 guns ( I work near a big international airport).
    I think that if a car has DLRs, it should automatically have a dusk sensor to turn on everything when needed.
    I’ve seen this issue in Canada as well, but not to the extent I see it here.
    My car has DLRs but they can be turned off. I use them sometimes, particularly if I am on a small county road. Otherwise they stay off. I do see their value, but they weren’t implemented right. Human forgetfulness wasn’t taken into account.

    • 0 avatar
      Nick_515

      Carrera, here’s what I’ve found has a 20% chance with the lot you describe:

      1. become visible to them.
      2. turn your lights off completely for 10 seconds, provided you can maintain situational awareness.
      3. Put your hazards on for three-four flashes.
      4. Turn your lights back on.

    • 0 avatar
      brandloyalty

      This is a problem since the DRL’s included activation of the instrument lights.

      • 0 avatar
        rudiger

        ^This. Instead of going the cheapass way on DRLs, if the manufacturers (i.e., GM) had simply ran a separate circuit that left the instrument illumination completely off when the DRLs were activated (as in, all the time), dimwits would quickly realize that their headlights were off at night, just like the old days.

        But, no, so now we have complicated (and more expensive) resolution options of either having the tallights illuminated when the DRLs are on or mandating auto-headlights.

        • 0 avatar
          JimC2

          Early 1990s Canadian market Hondas did just that. The high beam light would also be on, but dimly. So your instruments would be dark and the high beam thingy on dim blue (noticeably different than if your high beams were on). Some people still screwed it up though, which is why I think my photo ticket light violation idea is a good idea (see below).

        • 0 avatar

          ^ @ rudiger: Egg Salad point!

    • 0 avatar
      rpn453

      Really? You never saw anybody driving with their lights off before DRLs? I saw it happen plenty.

      During the early days of DRL, cops would even do it intentionally on low-light evening and cloudy periods so they could sneak up on people. They had a switch to disable the DRLs.

      • 0 avatar
        Carrera

        RPN, I am sure there were people before the DRLs, but not like now. The problem is exacerbated since DRLs do provide, depending on the brand 60% to 70% of normal light. In their mind, they have light, just not too powerful. I mean, I can see how this is easily done. Particularly if you’re in a rental in unfamiliar territory. Dusk sensors should be mandatory on DLRs equipped cars. I hate mandatory stuff, but…

        • 0 avatar
          focus-ed

          High output drls definitely contribute to the problem. During recent commute I had dubious pleasure of spotting such a driver. She was almost punching out her head through the windshield of her brand new BMW SUV. Flashing lights was insufficient clue and – unfortunately – her companion was just as bright (or maybe scared of being taken for a ride).

    • 0 avatar
      jalop1991

      DRL.

      Daytime running lamp.

    • 0 avatar
      Wheeljack

      Just 3-4 guns? Lightweight…

    • 0 avatar
      larrystew

      Why not just get rid of DRLs altogether and make people develop common sense once again? Once I got in the habit of turning on my headlights normally, it becomes second nature. Or just implement normal run-of-the-mill automatic headlights. BUT when you have people that don’t have a clue in the “being observant” department, then you run into the problems. I would venture that the root cause of this entire issue is manufacturers implementing lit instrument areas. That was always the clue when this was not the case…a darkened instrument panel.

    • 0 avatar
      burgersandbeer

      I don’t think it is DRLs as much as permanently back lit gauges.

      That said, most DRLs are poorly implemented. I have no idea why front lighting would be mandatory but not rear (until this law). When designing DRLs, was it that much of a leap to have tail lights on as well?

      Sounds like engineering following poorly written requirements literally.

      • 0 avatar
        forum1

        Exactly! I’ve always thought DRLs in front without running lights in the back was a dumb idea if one’s intent was to increase daytime visibility with lamps. Let’s make sure people can see the front of the car but not the back? Go figure.

  • avatar
    JimC2

    I usually just high beam these light forgetters. Not because they learn anything from it, but mostly because it makes me feel better inside.

    • 0 avatar
      Cactuar

      I usually flash them rapidly and you’d be surprised how effective that is. Many drivers realize their mistake and turn on their lights.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus

        I will turn mine off and back on once or twice. Usually does the trick.

        My policy for high beamers, one (maybe two) flash to give them a chance. Then, I turn my high beams on and leave them on until they turn theirs off, or pass by.

      • 0 avatar

        I do the same. It works about 50% of the time. The worst culprits are usually Toyota drivers since they have the magic combination of electroluminescent gauges and inattentiveness.

      • 0 avatar
        burgersandbeer

        This works maybe 25% of the time for me. I don’t like persisting with the high beam flashing because it annoys everyone else on the road too. If the phantom car doesn’t get it after a couple of attempts, I try to get as far away from them as possible.

    • 0 avatar
      overlytiredmom

      Is it just me, or is there an issue with Honda Civics having high beams on at all times? I’ve come across dozens of them, new models.

    • 0 avatar
      Boff

      I’ve used all of the techniques described above, with about a 2% success rate.

  • avatar
    Kendahl

    DRLs always were a stupid idea. Tricking people into believing that their headlights and taillights are turned on when it’s only the DRLs is just one reason. Making the DRLs automatic just compounds the problem.

    Why do we still have a switch position for parking lights? If you are stopped beside the road, you should be using four way flashers instead.

    The smart approach would be to turn on everything needed for night operation whenever the engine runs. Provide a manual switch to turn lights on when it’s stopped.

    • 0 avatar
      rpn453

      No need for headlights to shine unnecessarily in the faces of drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists when the car is parked idling. I’d rather it activate when the car is put into gear.

      • 0 avatar
        Carrera

        Actually, when I owned a truck, I would put my parking lights on at a long stoplight if I had someone in front in a sedan. I’ve been in situations where big F250s would blind me for a good 4 minutes. I hate playing with my rear view mirror and I don’t drive anything fancy enough where the mirror reacts on its own.

      • 0 avatar
        burgersandbeer

        People parking with their driving lights on is a peeve of mine. Probably not serious enough to merit solving via legislation, but annoying nonetheless.

        I would like to see driving lights off whenever a car is stationary for more than 30 seconds or so. Reducing glare from driving lights would help at intersections too, especially for cars taking a protected left.

    • 0 avatar
      ttacgreg

      Agreed. Their glare masks other features in the visual field. The newer LED ones are an improvement. The LED high beam ones are the worst.
      Ya know, to do the the concept right, they should be on the roof and emit 360 degree light pattern. If Joe D.F. needs to be blasted in the face with headlight bright lights to see the front of the car in broad daylight, what about the other three sides? DRL that are below the bumper are joke. the slightest hill blocks them from view.

    • 0 avatar
      Flipper35

      Or, just do like motorcycles.

    • 0 avatar
      Advance_92

      Since so many cars have faux fog lights it’s a wonder why they weren’t used rather than headlights, as the last few generations of Pontiac did. And they were yellow without the LED glare. Any DRL that’s so intense it needs to turn off in order to see a turn signal is probably too bright.

  • avatar
    Cactuar

    Can anything good come from the Trudeau government? Apparently so.

    I welcome this change and look forward to seeing other cars better at night.

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    I live in God’s Waiting Room, Florida – this is literally a nightly occurrance. You just hope that Grandma or Grandpa isn’t going the wrong way on 41 or I-75 with no lights on. That is a routine occurance too – I think one happenned last night on I-75, I drove past the aftermath. Obvious head-on at midnight on a clear night on a straight highway, so either elderly or fell asleep.

    • 0 avatar
      Carrera

      Yes Krhodes1, I live in Central Florida and it is getting out of control. It isn’t as much granny but tourists…at least in my area. Tourists in rental cars.

  • avatar
    sgeffe

    How ‘bout just auto-headlights and be done with it! It’s bad enough having to replace headlight bulbs on modern cars; I imagine that the talllights are just as bad in some cases!

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    Ford is, by far, the absolute worst offender when it comes to this issue. I see more Fords driving around without their headlights on it’s astounding.

    • 0 avatar

      No Honda is the worst offender. Every one of their cars I’ve driven in the last 10 years has had the instrument lights permanently on, and in most cases the DRLs on too. Unless you happen to notice the green “kissing squid” headlights indicator is not illuminated (and who notices when a warning light ISN’T on ?) then all the visual feedback tells you you’re ok.

      Out of all the cars I’ve flagged down for having no lights showing on the rear, 3 out of 4 are Honda.

    • 0 avatar
      James2

      Surprising conclusion, coming from the resident Ford hater.

  • avatar
    White Shadow

    My Audi automatically dims the instrument panel as it gets dark. And when you can’t see your gauges, you automatically turn on your lights. Simple and effective.

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      Doesn’t take an Audi. Nearly every brand has that capability, just maybe not on base models.

      I think the three choices are good ones. The most simple is the requirement to not light the dashboard unless the headlights are on. This is the real reasons headlights have become an issue. It used to be that if you couldn’t see your dash, you knew your lights were off. Not true anymore.

      • 0 avatar
        dawooj

        VW does this too. It is an effective reminder.

        There are parts of Europe where it’s law to have your headlights on (and thus your taillights) at all times the vehicle is in operation. Night or day. I don’t personally like it, but you have to admit, it’s idiot proof.

  • avatar
    RedRocket

    GM cars have had auto-headlights for 20 years.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    I don’t see why we have headlight switches at all. Engine on? Parking lights should be on. Transmission in drive or reverse? Headlights should be on. 24 hours a day. This is how I drive. Lights on when it’s light doesn’t hurt anything.

    Have a secondary switch somewhere that can turn the headlights on when the car’s in park or turn the whole system off, but make it one of those switches you never have to touch in normal operation.

  • avatar
    iNeon

    Y’all know how easy this is to implement? I’ve two examples:

    Volvo: The 1984 245DL I had turned it’s headlamps off when the car was off. Flip the key if you need to use your car for a flashlight.

    Dodge: My current driver– 2015 Dart has the TFT gauges and panels, so it’s guilty of the same crime all the rest are: gauges that light-up day/night– and DRLs. Dodge’s/FCA’s solution? Park lamps as DRLs. They even turn off when I pull the parking brake.

    Both solutions require nothing!

  • avatar
    jalop1991

    “Some passengers who happen to be behind the wheel believe an illuminated instrument panel means the headlights and tail lights are already on, should they look up from their phones at all”

    There, fixed that for you.

  • avatar
    overlytiredmom

    Just the other night, I witnessed a phantom OPP pull over a phantom minivan.

    Oh, the irony.

  • avatar
    JuniperBug

    This legislation makes sense. The consequence of DRLs is that a lot of drivers really have no idea that their tails aren’t on if they haven’t hit the light switch. I used to actively flash offenders at night with my high beams and, once I passed them, flashing my own tail lights, but experience has taught me that at least 90% of the time, if they’re too stupid to turn on their tail lights at night, they’re too stupid to notice why they’re being flashed.

    I remember I once went on a blind date who gave me a lift home (clearly the date didn’t go as well as I would’ve liked), and as I got out, I told her that her lights weren’t on. Her response: “Oh, I thought they came on on their own.”

    My dad’s ’92 Cutlass Supreme had automatic headlights which worked quite well. We’ll ignore that my ’04 Concorde’s can cause problems in epileptics; the technology is there, and has been for a long time. Or else automakers could go the way VW did for Canada-spec cars in the early 90s, as well as Subaru and Volvo more recently: all lights were automatically on as soon as you set the key to run. I’m all for automatic headlights across the board.

  • avatar
    Maymar

    This is probably all Honda’s fault – I had a ’10 Civic (one of the ones with the digital dash), and as much as I’m conscientious about using headlights, there were a couple times it took me a while to notice (moreso that the dash was abnormally bright). It might be confirmation bias (and the sheer number of Civics sold up here), but I swear any time I see a car without the lights on at night, that’s what it is.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    WIGGUM: Oh my god, it just disappeared! It’s a GHOST CAR! There are ghost cars all over these highways you know!
    HOMER: Hold me!
    WIGGUM: Only if you hold me!

  • avatar
    Andrew Justus

    Maybe it’s just time to mandate “Key on, lights on”.

    Amp draw will make a small dent in fuel economy, but not one noticeable to any motorist. I would also eliminate the auto-headlamp sensors that the Canadian law seems to require, and may not be easily priced into cars at the lower end of the range.

  • avatar
    gmcd

    Problem round here (Vancouver) is mainly with the Modo/evo/car2go car share people. Completely unaware and probably not hugely experienced drivers. All compounded by so many of the cars being Prius C’s.

  • avatar
    Tele Vision

    I remember Americans being aghast at DRLs when they were introduced in Canadia. The worm has turned, it would seem. I’m still in favoUr of DRLs, as the profusion of dull-coloUred cars – mostly Audis and Mercs in my area – make spotting one barreling along an oiled country road quite difficult, especially as they tend to ride the crown at 120 Km/h.

    • 0 avatar
      rudiger

      Great point about the proliferation of vehicles that are painted in a shade that actually camouflages it. I’m speaking, of course, of the shades of grey that perfectly blends in with the road surface.

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    If you can’t remember to turn your lights on…wait, what was I going to say?

  • avatar
    Erikstrawn

    I’ll be the one commenter to man up and admit I do this. I absolutely hate daytime running lights. My Mustang doesn’t have them, and my wife’s Chrysler 300 has auto headlamps, but the Suburban? DRL hell. I don’t drive it that often, and my wife always has to chide me before I remember that the headlights are always on. I hate them. I’m just fine with the manual headlights in the Mustang. I wouldn’t pay extra for the auto headlamps in the 300, but they’re handy. One way or the other, but outlaw DRL.

    • 0 avatar
      EBFlex

      I agree. DRLs are pointless.

      They add nothing but complexity and, based on the article, confusion for people that shouldn’t be driving in the first place.

      • 0 avatar
        pbx

        Actuarially speaking, ‘daytime running lights (DRLs) are a safety feature intended to reduce crashes by increasing the contrast between vehicles and the background’. So maybe they do.

  • avatar
    Boff

    I usually just assume the offending driver is a moron, but on more than one occasion, the light switch in our cars has been turned from “AUTO” to “OFF” after dealer service or detailing…

    • 0 avatar
      MLS

      That’s why GM’s switches are great: “auto” is the home position. After driver manually switches off lights, spring-loaded knob/stalk returns to auto and that’s the mode employed at next ignition cycle.

  • avatar
    BunkerMan

    The problem with the automatic headlight option they mention in the article, is that on most vehicles, they can still be shut off.

    Both of mine have auto lights, but I have still managed to be driving down the road once without lights. I had my car in to the shop to get fixed and the mechanic turned the lights off manually. Not more automatic lights. I realized what happened quite quickly though, since the interior lights were as bright as the sun. How to people not notice this?

    I live in a rural area and I see cars driving with no taillights on at night all the time. Flashing my lights at them never seems to make a difference. Some people are just oblivious.

  • avatar
    TDIGuy

    Now if they can just stop people from driving with their rear high beam on it will make travelling behind these idiots much safer.

  • avatar
    jjster6

    I just shorted TTAC Bonus Bucks on an exchange. That $100 is now worth over $1100. :)

  • avatar
    notapreppie

    In Chicago, at least 10% of the population don’t understand how headlights work.

    Half of them drive with their high-beams on all the time.
    The other half don’t use their headlights. Ever.

  • avatar
    JimC2

    This gives me an idea. Instead of photo radar and red light cameras, somebody should invent photo “you screwed up your headlights” robo ticketing. Hear me out!

    Get a special camera that can tell if you are :
    – driving in the dark with your DRLs on but headlights off
    – takes a picture of the rear of your car to check if your taillights are off
    – failing to dip your high beams with other people in front of you in traffic and/or with oncoming traffic, a computer can figure out an algorithm for this one*

    It takes a picture of your license plate (multi-spectrum infrared+visible+magic) and the car owner gets a ticket in the mail.

    Safety! Revenue! Er, I mean Safety!!

    (Obviously it wouldn’t work in places like Alabama, where auto registration is based on the Honor System and lots of folks are running around indefinitely with “tag applied for” pieces of paper dangling from their rides in lieu of proper registration.)

    * computing power is definitely affordable- according to Moore’s Law, today’s computers are over a thousand times more powerful than the ones available in the 1990s, back when photo radar got really popular in North America).

  • avatar
    IBx1

    No need to mandate light-sensing automatic headlights, just have the taillights on the DRL circuit.

  • avatar
    spamvw

    Light-sensing is nice, but here in MN last week we had white out conditions, plenty bright, but of course no taillights on most cars.

    Then of course, LED taillights won’t melt the snow that accumulates on them.

    I’ve asked the folks who run the roadside information signs to put up reminders to put your lights fully on in inclement weather. But they prefer to put up cute sayings about seat belts etc.

    • 0 avatar
      JimC2

      “cute sayings about seat belts etc.”

      ‘Seat belts are the leading cause of ejection seat malfunctions. Think twice before you buckle up.’

      I think that’s a cute slogan, in an ironic sort of way. It’s one of my originals but you’re welcome to use it, no need to credit me as your source.

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    Good. I’ve nearly rear-ended “ghost” cars. This is one of those things with multiple issues: LED street lighting can wash-out a lot of headlights, new, brighter DRLs can make you think your lights are on, lighted dashboards make you think the lights are on. And, in my own car (2000 Lexus) the green headlight indicator light comes on even when only the park/marker lights are activated, thus, I am always checking to see how many clicks I turned the switch. Interesting how all this interacts with human factors.

  • avatar
    EspritdeFacelVega

    On my early 2000s Jaguar the full lighting system would come on automatically when the car was running, which was Jag’s answer to the Canadian-market DRL mandate. While overkill, I actually liked it and got quite accustomed to it. More than the DRLs themselves I think always-illuminated dashboards are the real heart of the problem. Most people I know don’t know to watch for the little green icon or similar dashboard symbol to tell them their lights are on, so the best bet is probably mandating automatic lighting, which as someone pointed out is not really a significant additional cost to the manufacturer.

    But I also agree this is an example of regulatory creep and unintended consequences. Prior to DRLs no sentient driver had any trouble knowing when the lights were on or off at night. And no one used their lights during the day unless they were in a funeral procession.

  • avatar
    Tele Vision

    My 2007 CTS-V had to have the DRLs activated upon import to Canada. Just the turn signal lights are on during the day, so I won’t burn a headlight out from daily use. Pretty SMRT.

  • avatar
    Delta88

    VW and Audi figured this out a decade ago. Light sensor in the gauge cluster. When it’s dark and the headlights aren’t on the instrument cluster goes black. I almost always keep mine in the Auto position but a few times I had it in the Off position when pulling into the parking garage at work. Works like a charm, gauges go black so I flip the switch to Auto.
    I think I see at least one Toyota or Honda running in ghost mode every time I drive at night.

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