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SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau

Ban on the use of bright white headlamps in motor vehicles sought
Writer: Lorelei V. Castillo, MRS-PRIB
15 May 2011 10:02:37 AM

A lawmaker has moved to prohibit the use and installation of bright white headlights or headlamps in motor vehicles to reduce the cases of road accidents and enhance road safety and convenience.

Rep. Neri Javier Colmenares (Party-list, Bayan Muna), Vice Chairman of the House Committee on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms, filed House Bill 3769 to be known as "An Act Prohibiting the Use of High Intensity Discharge (HID) Headlamps."

Colmenares said the use of HID or Xenon headlamps cause inconvenience to the drivers or passengers of other vehicles due to the excessive glare coming from these headlamps.

"Many countries have prohibited or regulated the use of these headlamps precisely in response to the threat to road safety posed by its use," Colmenares said.

Colmenares cited 2008 statistics of the Department of Health (DOH), which listed road accident as the fourth leading cause of death in the country.

According to the DOH statistics, road accidents usually happen at night or in dim environment where there is poor visibility. In these instances, vehicles use their headlights or headlamps to provide visibility.

Colmenares said the measure addresses the problem of threat to road safety posed by the use of non-standard headlights, particularly bright and glaring white lights by vehicles that use HID or high intensity discharge headlamps.

"The use of these HID headlamps in vehicles, including refitting of tungsten-halogen headlamps to HID headlamps, is not in consonance with traffic safety standards," Colmenares said.

Colmenares said the HID headlamp produces excessively bright white lights and the glare can distract drivers of approaching vehicles which may result in serious accidents endangering other vehicles and pedestrians.

Under the bill, any person or entity selling motor vehicles caught selling the prohibited item shall be fined P100,000 for every sale of a vehicle fitted with the headlamp. The registered car owner and the person driving a motor vehicle installed with or using the prohibited HID headlamp shall each be fined with P10,000.