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Tram headlights too bright during the daytime

General Transport Discussion not specific to one state

Tram headlights too bright during the daytime

Postby Myrtone » Fri Jul 10, 2015 11:18 am

I can't recall whether this is the case with trams in Sydney and Adelaide, but sometimes headlights on trams in Melbourne are on full brightness at all times, not dimmed during the daytime.
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Re: Tram headlights too bright during the daytime

Postby boronia » Fri Jul 10, 2015 11:24 am

Why would you want them dimmed during daylight? They are switched on the create awareness for other road users.
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Re: Tram headlights too bright during the daytime

Postby Myrtone » Fri Jul 10, 2015 1:48 pm

Do they need to be just as bright at all times? If you really think about it, it makes no sense for the lights to be so bright that one has to squint when looking at the leading as I sometimes do. Our trams share the road with many other vehicles that only use headlights at night* (specifically when the streetlights are on) and Sydney trains don't use headlights day or night.

*This is the case in nearly every country in the same latitude range as Australia (20 to 40 degrees from the equator), especially those in the same latitude range as mainland Australia.
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Re: Tram headlights too bright during the daytime

Postby boronia » Fri Jul 10, 2015 6:31 pm

Many cars, trucks and buses now have "daylight running lights" which are almost as bright as headlights, and many other buses and trucks here run all day with headlights on because it is a known safety benefit.

Apart from the S/C sets in Sydney Trains, all others run all the time with fog/ditch lights on.

If there is a problem with the alignment of tram headlights causing the glare you should report it to YT,.
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Re: Tram headlights too bright during the daytime

Postby Myrtone » Fri Jul 10, 2015 7:05 pm

Here in Australia, and nearly every other country in the same latitude range, most land vehicles either don't have them, or have programmable "driving lights," and these are not as bright as headlights, in fact no brighter than navigation lights on aircraft and vessels, which, througout the world, and only required from sunsent to sunrise.
What Sydney trains have is marker lights, to indicate which end from which they are driven.
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Re: Tram headlights too bright during the daytime

Postby boronia » Fri Jul 10, 2015 7:07 pm

You appear to be from melbourne, so you are obviously not aware of what happens in Sydney. Read my post again.
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Re: Tram headlights too bright during the daytime

Postby Myrtone » Fri Jul 10, 2015 7:10 pm

I learned about it in another thread. This video shows trains without headlights, one used with only marker lights.
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Re: Tram headlights too bright during the daytime

Postby boronia » Fri Jul 10, 2015 7:18 pm

OK, but that video seems to pre-date the current procedure to use lights where available. It has been around for the last couple of years at least.
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Re: Tram headlights too bright during the daytime

Postby Lt. Commander Data » Fri Jul 17, 2015 6:42 pm

I don't have a problem with the brightness of either the flexity or citiad tram lights in Adelaide, they are bright enough to be see but not so bright that they blind you.
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Re: Tram headlights too bright during the daytime

Postby Myrtone » Thu Sep 24, 2015 10:52 am

They should definitely be dimmed during the daytime. Fact is that studies in the US by NHTSA show that headlights do not create such awareness whenever there is ample natural daylight.

boronia wrote:OK, but that video seems to pre-date the current procedure to use lights where available. It has been around for the last couple of years at least.


Do you know the official reason for changing the rule?

I can vaguely remember the first time I had heard of headlight use during the daytime, and I was surprised.
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Re: Tram headlights too bright during the daytime

Postby Daniel » Thu Sep 24, 2015 8:44 pm

Myrtone wrote:Do you know the official reason for changing the rule?

For safety.... because it is obvious that they draw attention to the vehicle as it approaches!
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Re: Tram headlights too bright during the daytime

Postby Myrtone » Thu Sep 24, 2015 9:05 pm

So why wasn't changed earlier?
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Re: Tram headlights too bright during the daytime

Postby Daniel » Fri Sep 25, 2015 7:26 am

Myrtone wrote:So why wasn't changed earlier?

Because it wasn't thought of? Besides they aren't headlights but rather fog or ditch lights, with less intensity than the bright train headlights above the windscreens.
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Re: Tram headlights too bright during the daytime

Postby boronia » Fri Sep 25, 2015 9:10 am

Trains have usually been using their headlights at all times outside of the metro areas for years. They often turn them off when approaching stations or oncoming trains.
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Re: Tram headlights too bright during the daytime

Postby Myrtone » Sun Nov 29, 2015 2:22 pm

Daniel wrote:
Myrtone wrote:So why wasn't changed earlier?

Because it wasn't thought of? Besides they aren't headlights but rather fog or ditch lights, with less intensity than the bright train headlights above the windscreens.


If it were really that obvious that they draw more attention, they surely would have changed it earlier. Trains here in Melbourne used headlights like that before they were in Sydney.
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Re: Tram headlights too bright during the daytime

Postby Daniel » Tue Dec 01, 2015 5:13 am

Well it didn't change any earlier... not really sure what you are trying get at?
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Re: Tram headlights too bright during the daytime

Postby The Inspector » Sun Dec 13, 2015 10:24 am

Adelaide's trains & trams have always ran with headlights on during the daylight hours (when drivers remember to use them), there is the odd occasion that they may forget.
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Re: Tram headlights too bright during the daytime

Postby Myrtone » Sun Dec 13, 2015 10:30 am

Daniel wrote:Well it didn't change any earlier... not really sure what you are trying get at?


If it were obvious that they drew more attention, then the rules (on Sydney suburban) would have changed earlier. I used to think it would be obvious that it wouldn't be the case under ample natural daylight.
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Re: Tram headlights too bright during the daytime

Postby Daniel » Tue Dec 15, 2015 7:52 am

Myrtone wrote:If it were obvious that they drew more attention, then the rules (on Sydney suburban) would have changed earlier. I used to think it would be obvious that it wouldn't be the case under ample natural daylight.

Safety and visibility has become much more of a priority in recent years, so there's your explanation.
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Re: Tram headlights too bright during the daytime

Postby Myrtone » Wed Dec 16, 2015 2:53 pm

Actually, they were already that much of a priority in the 1990s, I think, it didn't change then.
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Re: Tram headlights too bright during the daytime

Postby Daniel » Wed Dec 16, 2015 8:01 pm

LED technology has taken off since then and is generally the standard now, particularly for running lights. Cost effective, bright and extremely long lasting.
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Re: Tram headlights too bright during the daytime

Postby Myrtone » Wed Dec 16, 2015 8:02 pm

But they make no sense under ample natural daylight, under low daylight levels (such as in cloudy weather), maybe.
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Re: Tram headlights too bright during the daytime

Postby Daniel » Thu Dec 17, 2015 8:29 am

What about in CBD areas with large building shadows, plus tunnels etc? Easier to run them all the time and removes the need for drivers to active them if they are default. Bright running lights make them more visible even on sunny days, which means less accidents. Simple.
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Re: Tram headlights too bright during the daytime

Postby Lt. Commander Data » Thu Dec 17, 2015 10:12 am

All of Adelaide's CB80s that I've seen have day running LED lights, and I've never been blinded by them, nor by any of the train or tram lights. It just makes you notice the vehicle more than you might have if there were no lights.
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Re: Tram headlights too bright during the daytime

Postby Myrtone » Thu Dec 17, 2015 10:49 am

Daniel wrote:What about in CBD areas with large building shadows, plus tunnels etc? Easier to run them all the time and removes the need for drivers to active them if they are default.

Photosensors (quite simple and reliable) like those on streetlights would also remove the need for drivers to activate them. In fact nowhere in the world are streetlights left on at all times, and the requirment here is for road vehicles headlights to be on whenever streetlights are on.

Daniel wrote:Bright running lights make them more visible even on sunny days, which means less accidents. Simple.

And yet no country in the same latitude range as mainland Australia (10-40 degrees north or south) requires road vehicles headlights to be on at all times, with the exception of the most southerly EU member states even these (such as Greece, Malta and Israel) and before 2011, when the EU made DRLs a requirement in all member states, even these didn't have such a law.
Even in European countries where this is the case, headlights are still meant to be dimmed during the daytime, no matter how far from the equator.
Studies in the US, where the south lies in the same latitude range (30-40 degrees north or south) as southern Australia, show that bright headlights and bright sunlight don't go well together.

Also see DADRL for more information on this.
Last edited by Myrtone on Mon Jun 19, 2017 12:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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