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 Post subject: A done deal
PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 12:37 am 
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Daytime Running Lights are back on the agenda. No one particularly wants them. The British government was opposed to them, the cyclist and motorcycle groups are emphatically against them and the safety benefits are equivocal. Until LED lights are perfected, they will increase fuel consumption and they will add cost and complexity to vehicle construction.

But never mind all that, in a bland statement yesterday, we were told that, "the European Commission has decided to introduce dedicated Daytime Running Light (DRL) on all new types of motor vehicles from the year 2011 onwards."

View full article here

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 Post subject: Re: A done deal
PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 9:15 am 

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Speaking as a motorcyclist of some 35yrs, the drl is a triumph (no pun intended) of bueracracy over common sense


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 Post subject: Re: A done deal
PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 10:05 am 
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gilligan wrote:
Speaking as a motorcyclist of some 35yrs, the drl is a triumph (no pun intended) of bueracracy over common sense


Absolutely agree - but it is more than that. It is a graphic illustration of how we are governed these days. The issue does not have the magnitude of the financial crisis and is far less important than the impending energy crisis - but it is an issue which touches all of us, and one which will cost some people their lives.

Whatever else, it is highly controversial and represents another, albeit small infringement on our liberties and adds to our costs. In a democracy, therefore, this should have been an issue for parliament, debated and voted upon by our elected representatives.

As it is, however, it has been decided by a shadowy, anonymous committee, sitting I know not where, under rules of procedure I know nothing about, voted upon by persons unknown without public debate. And now, when the issue has already been decided, it comes out into the open and there is nothing we can do about it. Both MEPs and MPs are irrelevant to the process (as indeed are ministers). The impost will go through on the nod.

Yes, it is a small issue, but it is a perfect example of how we are now governed.

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 Post subject: Re: A done deal
PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 10:23 am 

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Quote:
Yes, it is a small issue, but it is a perfect example of how we are now governed.


I don't think "governed" is any longer appropriate, ordered or commanded to behave, is much more accurate.

However it yet again shows how utterly useless, the eunuch parliament in Westminster is and for that there will be a price.


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 Post subject: Re: A done deal
PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 10:36 am 
Just to clarify, this is no longer a plan or proposal, it's already EU law. This is a Commission Directive, adopted yesterday (24 September), by written procedure I assume as it's not on the agenda for yesterday's Commission meeting. There is no opportunity for either the European Parliament or the Council of Ministers even to rubber-stamp it, far less discuss it and "approve" it as the various articles in Telegraph, Mail etc seem to think. There is no more "nodding through" needed.

This measure falls under the Commission's move, within the past couple of years under the guise of its "better regulation" initiative to automatically align all EU legislation on vehicles with UNECE directives. Previously there was at least a semblance of discussion before EU legislation was adopted to bring UNECE rules into EU law, now that is no longer required, and the Commission has celebrated taking hundreds of pages of law out of the "acquis communautaire", even though all of it still applies in all member states. A splendid paper-shifting excercise if ever there was one. And as you rightly say, the working methods and visibility of the UNECE must make the Commission pretty jealous.


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 Post subject: Re: A done deal
PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 11:09 am 
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feux wrote:
Just to clarify, this is no longer a plan or proposal, it's already EU law. This is a Commission Directive, adopted yesterday (24 September), by written procedure I assume as it's not on the agenda for yesterday's Commission meeting. There is no opportunity for either the European Parliament or the Council of Ministers even to rubber-stamp it, far less discuss it and "approve" it as the various articles in Telegraph, Mail etc seem to think. There is no more "nodding through" needed.

This measure falls under the Commission's move, within the past couple of years under the guise of its "better regulation" initiative to automatically align all EU legislation on vehicles with UNECE directives. Previously there was at least a semblance of discussion before EU legislation was adopted to bring UNECE rules into EU law, now that is no longer required, and the Commission has celebrated taking hundreds of pages of law out of the "acquis communautaire", even though all of it still applies in all member states. A splendid paper-shifting excercise if ever there was one. And as you rightly say, the working methods and visibility of the UNECE must make the Commission pretty jealous.


Oddly, the commission press release, from which I have quoted, itself refers to a "proposal", which assumes it must at least be nodded through the Council. Being transport, one also assumes this is co-decision. Then it must be transposed into member state law, which will require more nodding through - another half-hour debate for Euro-Committee A!

That the procedure is confusing - even to nerds like me - says it all. If even I can't understand what is going on, or get it right - what does that say of the transparency of the legislative process?

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 Post subject: Re: A done deal
PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 11:20 am 
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RAENORTH wrote:
Oddly, the commission press release, from which I have quoted, itself refers to a "proposal", which assumes it must at least be nodded through the Council. Being transport, one also assumes this is co-decision. Then it must be transposed into member state law, which will require more nodding through - another half-hour debate for Euro-Committee A!


It still means to become UK law it must pass through Parliament. I presume this means it will be transposed as a Statutory Instrument (SI) and then approved by the above committee and so not require a formal vote in Parliament.

In theory, though, if the said Committee refuses to approve the SI then it does not become law in the UK. In the unlikely event that the Committee members grow a backbone between now and when they consider the proposal and reject the European Law, what then?

-- Iain


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 Post subject: Re: A done deal
PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 11:51 am 
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Then we would have have "divergent vehicle requirements", which would never do. Which is why the committee, stuffed with an inbuilt government majority, will vote it through on the nod - that is, if it actually selected for a debate. As an SI it could simply be "laid before parliament" on the negative assent procedure and come into law automatically, without even the little charade in committee.

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 Post subject: Re: A done deal
PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 2:30 pm 

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RAENORTH wrote:
Then we would have have "divergent vehicle requirements", which would never do...


Although quite what harm would be done by such diversity has never been explained (at least, not to me).

It would be cheap and beneath me to speculate how these enthusiasts for regulation, regimentation and (especially) order regard the prospect of massed ranks of highly polished Jackboots keeping perfect step as they march across EUrope. Whoops!


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 Post subject: Re: A done deal
PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 3:04 pm 
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MarkE wrote:
RAENORTH wrote:
Then we would have have "divergent vehicle requirements", which would never do...


Although quite what harm would be done by such diversity has never been explained (at least, not to me).

It would be cheap and beneath me to speculate how these enthusiasts for regulation, regimentation and (especially) order regard the prospect of massed ranks of highly polished Jackboots keeping perfect step as they march across EUrope. Whoops!


All to do with the single market, chuck. No vehicle can be sold in the EEA unless it conforms with the "type approval" requirements set out in Directive 76/756/EEC (as amended). Since that directive will now be amended to include a mandatory requirement for daytime running lights, it would not be possible (legal under EU law) to sell vehicles which were not so fitted. Even if we produced them in defiance of the EU law, we would not be able to sell them for export.

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 Post subject: Re: A done deal
PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 3:54 pm 
Dear Richard - I exposed these figures as utter rubbish back in March, when they were first announced. I contacted Jim Fitzpatrick to point out that it could not possibly cost an extra 5% of the cost of propelling a ton or more of metal along a road to power two 21watt bulbs. Within 3 days he confirmed that the 5% figure he had given in his Parliamentary reply was a misprint and should have been 0.5%

Even that fails to allow for 1/2 of our driving being done in the dark. My estimate is a maximum of 0.2% and probably 0.1%. Even that assumes tungsten bulbs and as you say they will be LEDs that consume only 10% so the figure is more like 0.01% to 0.02% or pennies a year, not £

I will email you Fitzpatricks reply

Bizarre as it is that few noticed that the 5% was insane, even more bizarre is the way some reports then increased it in line with fuel consumption! The costs is of course totally independent of the fuel consumption

Cheers

Idris


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 Post subject: Re: A done deal
PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 8:45 pm 

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I've been waiting for this old chesnut to come around again. Two comments:

Obviously the new regs. (sorry, orders) only apply to new vehicles so will there also be some requirement (sorry order) for existing vehicles to show some kind of daytime light?

Whether or not this is the case, I've just developed my own "statuatory instrument" applicable to new and old vehicles - it's called masking tape. PDT_Armataz_01_36

Could there be a market for tape in new car colours, for those so inclined to make a protest by taping their lights up to demonstrate against the way law in the UK is now made?

PDT_Armataz_01_41 Bring it on PDT_Armataz_01_42

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 Post subject: Re: A done deal
PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 10:59 pm 

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Perhaps the way to buck this would be to remove the fuse for "Daylight running lights" in the vehicle fuse box.
I expect there must be two separate circuits because I have seen Volvo's running around with their daylight running lights not on so it must be possible.

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 Post subject: Re: A done deal
PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 11:08 pm 
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Jaguar Driver wrote:
Perhaps the way to buck this would be to remove the fuse for "Daylight running lights" in the vehicle fuse box.
I expect there must be two separate circuits because I have seen Volvo's running around with their daylight running lights not on so it must be possible.


Yes, but you have to restore the function when you put it up for the MoT otherwise the car will fail. I know people who remove their CAT converters and put them back for the MOT though.

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 Post subject: Re: A done deal
PostPosted: Fri Sep 26, 2008 9:03 am 
Volvo cars have a tiny screw headed switch just below the dashboard lights switch, which will turn off the daylight running headlights. However, I prefer to have the headlights on, day and night, because I won't get nicked by not having my lights on when I drive home completely legless from the pub, after chucking out time.

If anyone believes that statement, they are morestupidly gullible than all the supporters of the EU, clumped together. One of the reasons Volvo drivers buy Volvos is because we, err they, like to parade our, their, superiority with the choice of vehicle. Headlights on means "Volvo coming through, get out of the ***king way."

If all cars have daylight running lights, Volvos will have to have something else added. I'm all for 'dozer blades.


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