Saturday, January 01, 2011

Is Lead SA causing motorists to break the law?

Lead SA as sponsored by Cape Talk 567 and 702 are encouraging motorists to drive with their lights on during the day for read safety reasons.

I have two problems with this:

On a recent 7000km trip we started off with our lights on. After a few hours I could not touch the car radio or most of the switchgear. The thing is, when you switch the outside lights on, the inside lights also come on. After switching the main lights off, everything cooled down and the aircon coped much better. It was around 35c outside. This made me question how much extra energy and therefore fuel is needed by the alternator and aircon pump? How much extra emission polution is generated? If you multiply this by a few thousand vehicles, how much damage is the Lead SA campaign causing to the environment?

I have noticed that many cars are not driving only with their normal lights on, but also with their brights or fog lights on. This is illegal, of course. For those who do not know, the road ordinance says that you may only use your fog lights when there is reduced visibiliy due to dust, fog or smoke. In trying to be extra visible, many motorists are in fact breaking the law. To what extent is Lead SA responsible for this?

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