The Sunday Times Driving Placeholder

News: Millions of motorists putting themselves and others at risk with blown bulbs

£2 or a £60 fine?


IT SEEMS SOME drivers think there’s still a war on. A survey estimates that 2.6m cars are being driven with defective lights, meaning that much like the black-out years of the Second World War, they can’t be seen quite so easily in poor light or at night.

The survey, carried out by Halfords, found that over one in 10 vehicles (10.1%) checked across 10 major UK cities was found to have a failed headlight, sidelight, rear or brake light. Glasgow had the most “invisible” cars with just under one in eight vehicles (13.3%) having defective lights.

London fared better with 6.8% of vehicles being driven with one or more broken lights, although that still means many thousands of cars are breaking the law, and causing a danger on the roads.

Police figures show that in 2010, 357 accidents were blamed on vehicles not displaying lights at night or in poor visibility.  Meanwhile, over 25,000 accidents were the result of drivers misjudging other vehicles’ speed, often as a result of failing to slow down.

In 2012, 1.16m cars failed their MoT for having defective lights, this despite a new light bulb costing from as little as £2. If their owners think they’re saving money, they’re wrong: drivers stopped by the police for having a defective light, face the possibility of a £60 fine and three penalty points.

 

Are you one of these motorists driving with a blown bulb?

Vehicles were checked between 7.30pm and 9pm after the clocks had changed and revealed that 218 out of 2,147 vehicles across the UK should not have been on the road due to the state of their lights. Translated into the total number of cars on the road, this would mean 2.62m had defective lights.

City No of cars checked No with defective lights % on road illegally
Glasgow 203 27 13.3
Newcastle 214 28 13.1
Liverpool 196 25 12.7
Manchester 227 26 11.5
Southampton 223 23 10.3
Birmingham 228 23 10.1
Leeds 199 17 8.5
Bristol 211 17 8.1
Nottingham 226 17 7.5
London 220 15 6.8
Total 2147 218 10.1

Halfords Group plc

 

 


Don’t get caught out on the roads this winter – be prepared, read our essential guide here