OTTAWA, Ont. – Transport Canada will soon require updated lighting packages in new cars, in a bid to address those who travel in the dark without any lights.
As of 2021, manufacturers will have to build vehicles that either have daytime running lights and tail lights that come on when the vehicle instrument panel is illuminated and the car is running; automatically turn on the headlights, tail lights, and side marker lights in low-light conditions; or keep the driver’s instrument panel dark so the driver knows to turn on all the lights. The new lighting standard will also allow for “advanced lighting technologies” that boost visibility without blinding oncoming traffic.
The new standards, to be outlined in Canadian Vehicle Lighting Regulation 108, will align with the U.S. and European Union.
Vehicles that drive in the dark with no lights on – also known as phantom vehicles – pose a safety risk, but drivers sometimes think an illuminated instrument panel means the headlights and tail lights are shining even if they are not, Transport Canada says.
“Phantom vehicles have been a nuisance and a safety risk on Canada’s roads for many years,” said Transport Minister Marc Garneau, in a related press release. “The new measures we’re taking will improve nighttime visibility and safety for all Canadian road users. As more new vehicles are built to our lighting safety standard, phantom vehicles will eventually become ghosts of the past.”
The standards will apply to vehicles sold after Sept. 1, 2021.