This comes from the European Cycling Federation (www.ecf.com):-
“Brussels, 7 October 2008 – The European Commission decided to introduce Daytime Running Lights (DRL) on all new vehicles from 2011 onwards.
“We strongly oppose this initiative because it is not based on conclusive evidence and might even prove harmful to cyclists”, says Annick Roetynck from the European Twowheel Retailers’ Association (ETRA). “To claim that this measure will increase road safety is simply not right. Let alone the paradigm shift it will bring about: vulnerable road users will have to watch out for cars instead of the other way round”, adds Bernhard Ensink from the European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF).
EU Vice President Günter Verheugen said that reducing road fatalities by 1,200 – 2,000 lives per year is the main argument to introduce DRL – a system, which makes car lights work in daytime. “But the 2003 TNO study on which the Commission bases the above estimates did not examine the effects of DRL on car drivers’ behaviour toward vulnerable road users. What’s more, the study has no conclusive evidence about the effect of DRL on accidents involving pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists”, Annick Roetynck explains. Bernhard Ensink adds: “In September 2001, ECF together with FEMA, the European motorcyclists’ association and FEVR, the European federation for road victims, presented to the Commission a position paper, which contained an overview analysis of the scientific evidence available on DRL. That analysis clearly showed that, in spite of well over 50 DRL studies carried out over 30 years, it was impossible to achieve a reliable measurement of the effect of DRL on road safety. The TNO study on which the Commission has based its decision shows exactly the same shortcoming.”
The Commission argues that all road users, including pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists can detect, recognise and identify vehicles equipped with DRL, better and earlier. “So kids can see the cars, but can the cars see the kids?” asks Bernhard Ensink, citing medical research that too many light sources make non-illuminated objects and persons, such as pedestrians and cyclists, less visible.