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July 2, 2011

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Home » Metro » Public Services

Daytime safety lights 'a danger'

SAFETY-CONSCIOUS motorists fitting their cars with daytime lights may in fact be making their vehicles more dangerous, officials have warned.

Some local drivers have taken it upon themselves to install daytime running lights (DRL), after the European Union made these mandatory on all new cars earlier this year.

But local authorities say it is not safe for motorists to modify their vehicles privately, and in extreme cases installing these lights could lead to the car catching fire.

At the moment, both 4S shops and garages claim they are offering the service, with one set of DRL costing about 1,400 yuan (US$217).

An online customer service worker with a local automobile accessory store said they charge 100 yuan (US$15.47) to fit DRL, and promised "there won't be any risks as we've already helped many customers."

But the secretary of the Shanghai Automobile Maintenance and Repair Association, surnamed Liu, said workers have to put an extra electrical wiring into the vehicle when installing the lights.

This increases the vehicle's operational load which could lead to it catching fire, claimed Liu.

Local resident Tang Hui was unimpressed with the idea of DRL in any case, as he thought it would have little effect on road safety.

"Vehicles have got enough lights, plus the lighting in Shanghai is great, so there's no need for these," said Tang.

In the EU, DRL became mandatory on all new types of passenger cars and small deliver vans since February, and the practice will also cover trucks and buses from August 2012.

They switch on automatically when the engine is started and substantially increase a car's visibility.


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