Daytime running lights from 2011

* Could save 5500 lives a year * European Parliament expected to approve it * Britain opposed to plans, but can't block them...

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Jim Holder
26 September 2008

Daytime running lights from 2011

All new cars could have headlights that remain on all of the time from 2011.

A Dutch study found that daytime running lights could prevent 5500 deaths and 155,000 injuries across Europe each year, and the switch has been backed by the European Commission.

The proposal is now being sent to the European Parliament for final approval.

Daytime running lights were made compulsory in Scandinavian countries in the late 1970s.

In 2006, Austria, Croatia and the Czech Republic became the first countries outside of Northern Europe to follow suit.

However, the proposals have come in for criticism, as it is estimated that having headlights on all the time will increase the average fuel bill by up to 5%, or 160, a year.

Britain has opposed the measure as unnecessary, but is unable to block it because a majority of other EU nations were in favour and transport issues are not subject to veto.