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Reblogged:Dumb Ban on Adaptive High-Beams Over?

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Although adaptive high-beam lights have been in use for well over a decade in Europe -- somehow without causing mass carnage -- they are banned in the United States by "safety" regulations.

Ars Technica reports with cautious optimism that that may be about to change:
Image by Paul Sableman, via Wikimedia Commons, license.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is finally poised to legalize adaptive beam headlights in the US. On Tuesday, the NHTSA announced that it has issued a final rule that will update the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, which currently only allow for "dumb" high- and low-beam lights.


Automakers have been asking the NHTSA to update its headlamp rules for some time now. In 2013, Toyota first petitioned the agency to allow for adaptive beam lights, and the NHTSA agreed to begin the laborious and lengthy federal government rulemaking procedure.
I am not sure how long those obnoxious, bright-blue LED headlamps have been legal (or mandated for energy efficiency?), but even low-beams of those bother me almost as much as incandescent high-beams.

Perhaps this difficulty in seeing at night is because the fuel regulations behind the popularity of vehicles built on truck chassis cause them to be closer to eye-level on average than they might have been otherwise. In any event, it says something when the government moves post-haste to make certain kinds of changes (i.e., those demanded by climate catastrophists) and at a glacial one for others, such as actual improvements to safety.

Ars Technica offers the government's explanation for why this change took so long, even though Europe's equivalent authority got the job done in 2006. The bureaucratic mumbo-jumbo might satisfy some people, but it fails to hide the 15+ year lag time from me.

Aside from perhaps being able to drive more easily in a few years, this story to me is just another reminder that government is atrocious at performing jobs outside its proper scope, and that the sooner we can privatize the formulation and implementation of safety standards, the better.

-- CAV

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