Letter: Time and place for fog lights

Dear Editor,

When I took Drivers Education a year ago, they told us that we shouldn’t drive with our high beams on when in traffic. The fog lights on a car do about the same thing. But what is the difference?

Fog lights are special lights placed strategically low to the ground in order to illuminate the road when visibility is poor. High beams, on the other hand, are usually placed by the bonnet, along with the turn signals, to illuminate the entire road and ditch, so you can see any obstacles or animals in the ditch.

I find more and more people are abusing their fog lights. Not just at night, but also during the day. Even though the sun is out, fog lights can still blind and/or distract a driver. This can cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle and crash. The blame would be placed on the vehicle with their fog lights on.

The problem doesn’t only lie with fog lights. People have their high beams on as well. It is common courtesy and is expected of you as a driver to dim your lights from high beam when there is oncoming traffic, at an intersection, or if you’re following someone. Yes. Even if you’re following someone.

Even with advanced rear view and side view mirrors, the motorist in front of a car with high beams and/or fog lights can still be blinded. Remember Grade 5 science, where we studied light and reflections? Mirrors reflect light. That’s how we see ourselves. Seeing as they reflect light, they usually bounce the light right into a drivers eyes. It takes your eyes approximately 15-20 minutes to fully adjust to the new light surroundings. I don’t think anyone can keep a constant beam on someone through a car mirror for 20 minutes.

Editor, people don’t realize how dangerous fog lights and high beams are. They can cause injury or even death, if the speed is high enough. I’m tired of constantly flashing my high beams (like they told us to do in driver ed) to try and get people to dim their lights and turn off their fogs, but it usually never works. All I ask is that people exercise common courtesy and dim their lights when following or approaching oncoming traffic. Save your fog lights for a foggy day, they aren’t called that for nothing.

I don’t care what kind of car you drive, or what excuse you have. Every car has some kind of mechanism to turn off your fog lights. Learn how to use it and keep them off. They are expensive to replace. Only use them in poor visibility. And no, night time or dusk does not count as poor visibility.

Thank you and happy non-fog-light motoring!
Tim Evans
MCHS Grade 11 student
Young driver

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1 Comment

  1. I have been saying the same kinds of things about fog lights for years. They are very much abused, and it seems to me that they are on even more often around Morinville and area than elsewhere.

    Drivers, please pay attention to this intelligent young man!

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