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Thread: Is it illegal to not have your lights on when its raining?

  
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    Is it illegal to not have your lights on when its raining?

    Just a quick question to ask...

    Is it illegal (or in highway code) to NOT have your lights on when its raining?

    I had a good argument with my dad about this as i think it is NOT illegal, but he thinks it is...?

    Anyone know?
    Astra Cabby Turbo

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    Dean!'s Avatar
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    I dno
    I have my sidelights on all the time
    and Only but full lights on when its dark, really dark
    [ My Car ]

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    yeah, i only mean sidelights. (when at least sidelights)

    I only have them on if it is a bit dark.

    Anyone else know? i tried googling it but could not find anything...
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    It would depend on the time of day and lighting as to whether you would need your lighting on.

    I'll dig up the exact law but there is nothing requiring you to have lights on when it's raining per-say. However obviously things like visibility come into play.

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    As far as I know its not agaist the law in this country.

    In some European countries you must have you light on all the time regardless of the time of day or weather conditions.
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    yeah, thats what i could pick up. thats why most european cars come with auto headlights (volvo etc). i cant find a law so suppose there isnt one.

    obviously if it is really cloudy and therefore dark, u would need ur lights on. but i presume if its light and raining then it would not be illegal
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    The law in question is Regulation 24 of the Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations 1989.

    "It is an offence to use, cause or permit the use, on a road of a vehicle which is in motion:

    (a) between sunset and sunrise, OR
    (b) in seriously reduced visibility between sunrise and sunset,"

    It then goes on to say unless every front position lamp, rear position light (rear lights), rear registration plate lamp and side marker lamp (side lights) is lit and unobscured.

    There is also reg 25 which states dipped beam must be used during the hours of darkness (but not on a road with street lights which are lit and no more than 200 yards apart) and during serious reduced visibility.

    So the crux of the matter is whether when it is raining that visibility would be 'seriously reduced'. I'd say in normal spitting rain it wouldn't be but if it's chucking it down then it may be. I'll find some more case law in due course.

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    i was told by a police man once that if you need your sidelights on then you need your headlights on...unless your parked on the side of the road..and to think whether or not other road users can see you clearly for the type or road condition and weather condition..
    Drives a 53 plate Arden Blue Zafira A Gsi 2ltr turbo...

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    its common sense really, if you need your lights to see or be seen then use them. I would imagine thats exactly the view the police and ultimately the courts would take. Cant have been many (if any) convictions for lack of lights during heavy rain. Most people would get a verbal dressing down from the cop concerned and put their lights on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by supersterl View Post
    i was told by a police man once that if you need your sidelights on then you need your headlights on...unless your parked on the side of the road..
    Well that's not quite right. The law requires side lights are on between sunset and sunrise but does not require headlights to be on until half an hour after sunset and until half an hour before sun rise. So you've got an hour in each 24 hours where you may drive with you side lights on without dipped beam .

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