Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Ladyman Dazzled by EU Headlights

Transport Minister Stephen Ladyman needs to get some cojones. EU Transport Ministers are trying to force us to use dipped headlights on our cars 24 hours a day. Yesterday, he told the House of Commons: "A number of powerful states think it's a good idea."

So what? The arguments against the measure are very strong so we should fight it. Having headlights on all day boosts fuel consumption and therefor CO2 emissions. Motor bike safety groups also point out that they use their headlights during the day to stand out fromm cars, so this measure would affect them adversely.

Presumably we gave away our veto in the area of transport (was it under Major or Blair?) some time ago. A good reason not to surrender it in other areas.

PS The Sun's Whip column has a snippet on Stephen Ladyman.. He has bought a Road Angel speed camera detector for his car as he has nine points on his licence. However, as Roads Minister it would surely have been far easier just to introduce the Speed Cameras (Abolition) Bill... For a road safety Minister to have nine points on his licence really tells you all you need to know about this government.

51 comments:

strapworld said...

Iain,

who are these 'powerful states' this nonentity refers to? South Korea, Iran?

Perhaps we should follow the Italian custom of using their car horns all day every day. Parking on pavements or wherever you can get it. The French system of parking by the dodgem car method. or the German method of driving by numbers?

Surely following this idiot's logic we shall all be driving on the right shortly because, a number of 'powerful states' say it is safer!

I agree with you on the legislation he should be proposing and also a law disqualifing any driver who drives using their fog lights (front or back) during normal driving conditions , including rain as that is a normal condition in this country!

Ladyman, who has proved to be a serial law breaker, should resign and certainly not be the Minister for Transport!

Anonymous said...

Have these motorcycle groups never heard of Saabs and Volvos/ --keep their lights on all the time as they do in Sweden.

Anonymous said...

So we have a dangerous driver as road safety minister telling us to drive with headllights as goons like him are unable to spot traffic unless it's illuminated.

Meanwhile, using headlights increases fuel consumption by a few percentage points, thereby increasing CO2 emissions. Is the Environment Minister aware of Ladyboy's musings? Joined up government anyone?

i spy strangers said...

Having just looked up "cojones" in the dictionary, I can see where you're coming from (as it were).

Anonymous said...

George Young was appointed Transport secretary despite having been convicted of drink driving. What does that tell you about the Tories then?

Anonymous said...

it's not safe to drive down country lanes with dipped headlights. Cars won't see each other coming - nor pedestrians and cyclists. This will lead to many more accidents, and more serious accidents.

The way to stop pollution from cars, is to accelerate new technology into the industry, not go back on lighting sutems worked out many decades ago, which work well.
tapestry

Anonymous said...

Poachers make the best gamekeepers, so they say. But it would be great if the road safety minister was banned from driving whilst in office, though.

Re the European Commission's proposal on using headlights during daytime, at the moment it's still out for consultation, so why don't you organise a coordinated response. Although you should note that the thinking is to equip new cars with specific daytime lights using significantly less energy than dipped headlights. Given that more than half of EU member states already require use of headlights during daytime, and several others recommend it, switching to such lower energy lights would actually reduce petrol/diesel consumption overall in the EU in the long term. And, in any case, dipped headlights consume far less petrol/diesel than air conditioning.

Paul said...

Who cares, it's not like there are any Traffic Cops around to catch you out.

Anonymous said...

Why does this have to be an EU-wide rule? Let countries like Sweden do this because they have very long, dark winters (maybe Scotland could do it?) but surely each nation is allowed to decide its own traffic laws, codes and regulations?

And Iain, what have you got against speed cameras? Surely only a muppet gets caught by these, you get advanced warning signs, the cameras are painted bright, reflective yellow and even the road surface is painted with white lines: if you can't spot any of these you should get an eye test!

Elaib said...

No trafficpolice,too true, but of course speed cameras willbe set with light meters to ctach you for not having lights on.

G

Gammarama said...

"For a road safety Minister to have nine points on his licence really tells you all you need to know about this government."

Oh come on Iain, you've never driven quick? At least it shows he is a real person. Its snide little comments like that which put people off politics.

Disciplines > Argument > Fallacies > Attack the Person (Ad Hominem).
Attacking the Person is a form of distraction, forcing them into defense and away from their argument.

f0ul said...

Anonimong 9.53 - do a google for Motorbike "volvo Driver" - motorcyclist are very aware of volvos!

Personally, it would make more sense to me to teach people how to drive rather than just make everyone stick their lights on - I loath having to ride my bike with a light on because a)it makes me look like I'm travelling faster than I really am.
b) It should be a personal choice thing
Next we will have accidents blamed on the people with the dimmest lights regardless of who pulled out!

Sir Bentley Pauncefoot said...

Strapworld remarks "we shall all be driving on the right shortly".

There is in fact a plan to accomplish this very harmonisation. But the EU have recognised the huge cost of compliance, so a transitional arrangement will see it phased in;

Numberplates ending in odd numbers will drive on the right from April 2009, and even numbers from April 2010.

Allegedly

Fruning Graplecard said...

It is a bit late in the day (perhaps he needs a light) for Mr Ladyman to bring this up. The consultation period for the European directorate for energy and transport ends on November 17th. It's called "Saving Lives with DRL" so you can kind of guess where it is coming from.

They are compulsory in Scandinavia, Switzeerland and Canada and advisory in some others. Make your own mind up about "powerful".

Whilst acknowledging that the move boosts emissions - ever driven with a crazed maniac at the wheel? (Oh not that sort of emissions) There is a plan to introduce LEDs which use less power.

There is apparently no data to support the claims of bikers. There is a lot of opposition and a pressure group - The Association of Drivers against Daytime Running Lights - (Do these people have a life?) exists to promote what they believe is a safer alternative - recessed LED's.

http://www.safespeed.org.uk/~dadrl/

contains links to the EU paper and is the site of DADRL

It strikes me that there is no compelling evidence that this EU measure would save lives.

Scandinavians have stricter speed limits and less tolerance to drink-drinving. It's a cultural thing, like their puritanical attitudes to alcohol consumption.

I think in this instance it is a case of the entire EC pandering to the lowest cultural common denominator just to be "on the safe side".

If you tolerate this, your cojones will be next.

strapworld said...

paul said....'who cares'

Shows what an irresponsible idiot 'paul' is, does it not?

There was once a time when most drivers took pride in their driving.

When 'Paul says' has dealt with the effects of attitudes like his, death and maiming on our roads. etc. then he may have a different view.When he has lost a family member or friend through an idiot driving too fast or irresponsibly he most definately will take a different view.

He may respond by telling us he has never had an accident...but how many has he caused?

Comments such as his may seem funny but they are just juvenile.

shame.

Anonymous said...

This has always been one of the reasons why I have never considered driving a Volvo - few sights are more idiotic than seeing some poor blighter with his headlights obliged to be on in broad sunlight. But I suppose it may make sense in very northern countries where it's very gloomy in the winter.

If effective low energy lights are available, then fit them anyway - make them mandatory on new cars if you like, so long as you can turn them off when not needed. But to justify unnecessary lights as a way to promote low energy lights is illogical. In fact, as the EU is supposed to be so environment friendly, how about a directive the other way - banning mandatory 24 hr lights??

Nicholas Bennett said...

For a Transport Minister to have camera detector in his car is very strange. It suggests that he will be exceeding the speed limits and needs a warning when to slow down.

If he thinks some limits are too slow (and I agree) then he should be working to increase some of them particularly on the motorways where the limit has been 70 since the 1960s despite improvements in road and car engineeering.

Robin Savage said...

I understand the proposals are coming from UNECE

Look at this website for more details:

http://www.unece.org/trans/conventn/legalinst.html

Britain's veto may not have been given away. The 1998 agreement (and I quote from page 3)is intended to "promote the harmonization of exisiting technical regulations, recognizing the right of subnational, national and regional authorities to adopt and maintain technical regulations in the area of health, safety, environmental protection, energy efficiency and anti-theft performance that are more stringent than those established at the global level".

The agreement (page 4) goes on to recognise: "governments have the right to ... determine whether the global technical regulations established under this agreement are suitable for their needs".

The Minister/Parliament must simply ask "Is this regulation suitable for the UK". If the answer is YES then we should implement it immediately. If the answer is NO, then we should NOT implement the proposed regulations.

The Remittance Man said...

"It's a cultural thing, like their puritanical attitudes to alcohol consumption".

Methinks Freind Grapplecard should avail himself of the hospitality offered by any one of the Baltic ferry lines.

If my experience is anything to go by, these services seem to exist solely to allow non-Danish Vikings to drink themselves into oblivion on "cheap" booze.

Or perhaps he should investigate the number of Viking homes that operate illegal (and bloody dangerous) stills.

The puritanical attitudes to which he alludes are those of the metropolitan elite and assorted do-gooders who believe, in the face of all evidence to the contrary, that prohibition will prevent the problem.

If you treat people like children, they will act like children. Especially when they finally manage to get into the sweetie shop. Alas the control freaks and health nazis have yet to recognise this simple fact.

Dr.Doom said...

An 'A' lister arguing against road safety?

Do you need a PR guru to help you into an election Iain?

I'm the best in the country.

Doom.

Vienna Woods said...

Austria has a natural mania for introducing regulatory measures for drivers and, yes we've had the headlamps thingy since last Winter and still 10% of drivers appear to ignore it. In Greece it is unlawful to drive with dipped headlamps in the daytime.
Just wait however, for the next regulation regarding fine-dust emissions. New diesel cars here MAY be bought with dust filters and the government deduct a portion of the tax as a thank you. It doesn't matter that, of the fine dust in the atmosphere, motor vehicles account for just 10% of the total pollution. The mayor of Vienna ( a bumbling fat socialist half-wit)decided last January to help reduce the dust by lowering speed limits on all roads within the city boundaries to 50KPH (40MPH). Within hours the roads were grid-locked and he was forced to raise speed limits on most major roads immediately. The idiot has no idea how motor vehicles work and at what speeds highest efficiency is attained, so now we are blessed with higher emissions than a year ago. ... and you lot think you have it bad with Ken Livingstone. One final thing though! Keep this quiet and away from Livingstone because if he ever gets together with this pillock in Vienna and breeds, we're all buggered!

Anonymous said...

On your website, you list one of your political views as zero tolerance policing. I'm guessing, as you don't say so explicitly, that you don't like speed cameras - hence the Speed Cameras (Abolition) Bill. Care to square the circle?

Volvo owner said...

I drive a Volvo too, and it was delivered with the lights permanently on. The dealer reccomended them be turned off - a Volvo main dealer felt that Xenon lights (yes the bright and expensive ones) were dangerous to have on all the time and un-environmental as the car would have to power them permanently burning extra fuel.

AnyonebutBlair said...

Stephen Ladyboy is an idiot. If the EU "powerful states" said we had to drive on the right then he would be planning to phase it in after a period of public debate and consultation. No doubt McKinsey would be employed to look at the implementation, and Capita would do the IT systems.
How many accidents are caused on the road during the day because car lights are not on? How may accidents could be avoided. I suspect the number is vanishingly small.

JT said...

Oh Iain, will you stop "banging on" about Europe. People don't care. They're only interested in schools' n 'hospitals. Honestly, this approach is just stuck in the past. As if we should care about what laws are made in this country or who makes them. The new Conservative party certainly doesn't. You won't fit in there by carrying on like this.

JT said...

P.S. Did I tell you that not wanting to keep your headlights dipped 24/7 is simply racist and xenophobic and a classic sign that you are just a little Englander.

Anonymous said...

never heard of Saabs and Volvos/ --keep their lights on all the time as they do in Sweden.

Thought it was hard-wired in the Volvo - lots disconnect them - but on Saab it is not automatic - at least not in my experience of these cars

Maybe it could be mandatory to have ALL car headlights aligned propertly at ALL times ? I am tired of misaligned headlights being too high - or the blue xenon bulbs of BMWs blinding the door mirror

Anonymous said...

What about the vile right-winger Julian Brazier - killed a motobiker in Italy whilst driving on the wrong side of the road. Should have been jailed you might think, rather than being made a shadow transport minister by Howard.

Praguetory said...

The anons (government PR reps) are out in force today aren't they? The level of debate here is risible.

Other than Belgium (?) the UK's reduction of road fatalities has been the worst in the EU between 2001 and 2004.

Before criticising Iain or attributing cuddly characteristics to Ladyman please check this and this which detail how he has opposed real road safety measures whilst clamping down on cyclists!!!

Johnny Norfolk said...

This is just the sort of thing that Ps you off over Europe. Why can they not leave it to each country.

granpapapat said...

Sir Bentley Pauncefoot, said re 'driving on the right / EU proposed harmonisation':

" Numberplates ending in odd numbers will drive on the right from April 2009, and even numbers from April 2010."

That's almost exactly what was decreed [and happened] when I was in Lagos, Nigeria on May 1st/2nd 1978.

I can tell you, it 'somehow' doesn't work... Utter bloody chaos

Man in a shed said...

They will want to tell you what colour car your allowed next.

Through personal experience I've found the cars that are most dangerous are the ones you didn't look for - until its too late.

Serf said...

Why do these half wits become politicians if they wish to Kow Tow to the EU at every opportunity?

I would be surprised if the law saved a single life, but I am sure that it will generate great revenue.

newmania said...

PRAGUEATORY SAID The anons (government PR reps) are out in force today aren't they? The level of debate here is risible

I was just thinking the same thing . Do they study being tedious of is it a natural gift. Consider the sheer prissy self satisfaction of "Poachers make the best gamekeepers, so they say."...
No one I want to talk to would say anything of the sort.Are you six years old anon?

Two points : Ladyman , Why when there is now conclusive evidence that the entire yellow piggy bank con ( Speed cameras) does not work do we still have them .They are an expensive affront to personal Liberty anyway and only an emergency (war?) would justify such an extension of the state

AND why is "it will save lives" trotted out again and again. There is no end to this arguement and it is therfore no arguement.The very language of these wraithe like anons gives their game away. Little by pusillanimous little we take your freedom ...

Now for some class

William Pitt ` Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of Tyrants; it is the creed of slave`


JT as ever rules the debate!

Jeremy Jacobs said...

..........Ladyman, who has proved to be a serial law breaker, should resign and certainly not be the Minister for Transport!.......................a cheap jibe at quite a good bloke actually. Just the sort of chap we need more of in UKIP.

newmania said...

STRAP WORLD
"Comments such as his may seem funny but they are just juvenile."

No they are not strap-on They are visceral reaction to the ghastly erosion of our freedoms presided over by the Blair government and colluded in with by the C`Mair roon faction..

This non stop attack on the individuals rights take place in the legislative sphere but also increasingly in malign management of possible opinions We can hardly be surprised that the soul of any human being revolts. Are you sure you are not a collaborator ?I think perhaps we have a space on the little list for you…..

Jeremy Jacobs said...

Newmania

Half the problem is the fact (and I'm sorry to bang on about this) is this country's continued "membership" of the EU.

We never voted for it. We all know it's a racket and it's taking away our freedoms - sod Blair, it's Brussels and Strasbourg

Dr.Doom said...

My dearest JT,

It most certainly isn't racist to compel motorists to dip their own headlights 24/7

BUT

My guess is that a racist probably thinks this way. Nobody of reasonable or responsible mind does but THEY do.

It's just the way it is.

Doom.

Dr.Doom said...

Go on Jeremy...be a devil....please tell me what freedom's you've had 'taken away'.

Personally I've had thousands given to me by the EU (thanks mr. Blair).

I've a big EU parliament looking after them for me and a European Court ready and very willing to crucify the first person who reckons they are above them and want's to shaft me.

I don't want to steal any thunder that UKIP have to offer (again..yawn) us at the next election but i'm tired of this freedom argument, as though you have always been there to defend me.

You haven't. I didn't want you to.
And I don't want you to either.
I like my parliament to look after me and the law lords come to that BUT the EU is by far superior to that lot any day.
So Jeremy, stop playing the 'my best friend' role because I have every faith in what the Tories did for me in Europe. Oh and that goes for tone.

Doom.

Colin D. said...

Typical bloody liebour. Is this not another reason to tell euro-land where to go. also to take mendleson with them. Double standards by ladyman. Dodgeing the points.

The bastuards should be done away with. By chemical means of cause, or at least nutured!!

Praguetory said...

Back on-topic, what job do you think Ladyman will be doing after the nect election? I would imagine his insights and experience would be much sought after in the motoring industry. I'd almost be surprised if he hasn't been promised something already.

Anonymous said...

This is the news response from UKIP today:

The lights are on, but no one is home
Mike Nattrass MEP, today ridiculed the Government for caving in to yet more EU nonsense. The European Union want us all to drive with our headlights on 24hrs a day. They say this will reduce the number of accidents on our roads but is strongly opposed by everybody from the Friends of the Earth to the British Motorcycle Federation (BMF).
"Stephen Ladyman, the Transport Minister claimed that the proposals were impossible to avoid because they were backed by, "powerful European Countries", he is talking about Sweden!", said Mr Nattrass, transport spokesman for the UK Independence Party.
He continued, “This proposal, intended to take effect by 2010, would increase carbon emissions by 3%, undoing much of the efforts of this country to reduce our impact on climate change".
Trevor Magner of the BMF said, "Day running headlights are a bad thing for both motorcyclists and pedestrians", as car drivers would have even more distractions.
Ian Mutch of the Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) said, " This is EU lunacy at its cynical worst. A serious issue is being trivialised by politicians posturing for credibility against a background of cosy commercial concessions through grasping the simple baton of a sad gimmick. The plus points are speculative, while the environmental downside is admitted. In terms of global safety the real future of the planet is being jeopardised for a benefit that is almost certainly illusory. The contempt for real safety and intellectual integrity that is manifest in the pro Daytime Running Lights campaign is breathtaking”.
Mr Nattrass concluded, "The UK Independence Party will do everything we can to prevent this counterproductive measure becoming law".

gadfly said...

Mr Ladyman seems to be multi-tasking very well: apart from the very important issue of regulating headlights he also has to deal the scandal that is now unfolding in the shipping area of his department.

Beachhutman said...

If Volvos are so SAFE because of the daylight lights, why do several police forces have these lights disabled in patrol cars? (a) so you don't notice them so easily (b) beacuse it's the driver that's safe, not the car?

And as to cameras, oh dead. It is very simple. If a camera prevents speeding then it makes no money. The cameras do make pots of money. Ergo they are not preventing speeding.

ian said...

So, Iain, with your concern for the massive amount of extra fuel consumption that will caused by this measure, would you care to disclose what colour your own hyper-economical prius is?

The Druid said...

Is this the minister responsible for the Road Saefty Bill? A bill which will outlaws radar detectors? (Clause 17).

Dipped head lamps are vital to the functioning of the single market didn't you know?

It won't be driving on the right next. It will be metrication of road signs and distances. And whatever govt that is in office will fob us off with the usual BS.

We don't need any of this luncy to trade with Europe. Cojones to the lot of it.

Shotgun said...

Gammarama said...

"For a road safety Minister to have nine points on his licence really tells you all you need to know about this government."

Oh come on Iain, you've never driven quick? At least it shows he is a real person. Its snide little comments like that which put people off politics.

Disciplines > Argument > Fallacies > Attack the Person (Ad Hominem).
Attacking the Person is a form of distraction, forcing them into defense and away from their argument.


So let's have a serial murderer as justice minister then eh? A transexual for womens minister? A struck off doctor for health secretary? A conshie deserter for defence secretary?

By your mongish standards...ohhh for fucks sake, what's the use with these labour loving idiots....it's like the welsh assembly when the Labour majority there appointed a vegetarian as farming minister...

fucking idiots the lot of them, incapable of rational thought or debate.

Anonymous said...

In Canada for about 15 years we have had daytime-running lights,which are in the headlights but are not as powerful as dipped beams.They are very useful when pulling out to overtake when it is hazy or not 100% visibility

G Eagle Esq said...

Sehr geEhrte Iain

Why are these Rooineks (formerly renowned for their love of liberty & good-sense) so tolerant towards these absurd speed cameras

Over so many decades, millions of fines & penalty points have been issued for speeding charges, as a result of speed traps & speed cameras

When these offences were recorded, how many individuals were injured or killed as a result of these "speeding only" offences ?

Is the number less than 10 (or 5 ... or 1) ?

And yet so many, many Motorists have paid increased car insurance premiums and/or lost their licences (& often their jobs) after Court disqualifications for these "victim=less" crimes !!!

Is it because the middle-classes (unlike burglars & murderers) are such an easy & remunerative target

Your obedient servant etc

G E

Madame Mao said...

Not wishing to dampen anyone's anti-eu fervour but I have a small and pedantic point I wish to highlight.

Recently Volvo were asked to calculate how much fuel was used by keeping the headlights on all the time (I believe this was due to a rival manufacturer claiming their's were more fuel efficient lightbulbs) and Volvo said that the amount used was so negligible it could not be measured accurately.

The eco-friendly argument doesn't hold water I'm afraid. As for the other arguments, I'm not fussed either way to be honest. I've got bigger and better things to worry about than car headlamps.

mark starr said...

I am all in favour of this proposal as it will be obvious every day the influence that the EU has on our own ability to govern ourselves, it will also attract EU sceptic martyrs.