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CONTRIBUTION · 1st November 2010
Helmut Giesbrecht
Some people drive with their fog lights on as soon as it is dark. It doesn’t matter if there is no fog, the fog lights have to be on. Those additional two lights in front of a vehicle that are intended to light up the front 30 feet of road were designed to be used in a fog. Some drivers use them all the time starting at the first sign of dusk.

We all know what it is like to drive on a rainy night with the glare of headlights of vehicles coming toward you reflecting off the road. Fog lights provide the same kind of glare on a clear night and they are completely unnecessary. If you drive with fog lights on hoping that you will be more visible to oncoming traffic remember you are more likely to be in an accident because you have blinded the oncoming driver. I’m surprised that there has never been a comment from the RCMP or the folks at ICBC on this issue. Almost any modification of the headlamps on vehicle seems acceptable or ignored.

Here’s a test for you. Next time you drive at night on a straight stretch of road without streetlights, pick a spot on the edge of the headlight illumination ahead. Now turn your fog lights on and see if you can actually see any further. Try this when you are following another vehicle at a safe distance and driving at 90 or 100 kms./hr. Anything that is more visible will be in the first thirty feet or so and you would not be able to stop in time even if you saw it.

Our eyes become more sensitive to glare as we get older. It takes longer to recover from glare. A 55 years old takes eight times longer to recover from glare than a 16 year old. So if fog lights did anything on a clear night beside cause additional glare there might be a point to driving with them on. As it is, save them for a foggy night.
fog lights
Comment by Jim Roberts on 10th November 2010
I would think it is illegal to drive with fog lamps on. I can't tell the difference between fog lamps and high beam. I have encountered fog lamps on the highway, not to mention corners while trying to keep my automobile between the lines, this can become difficult while temporarily blinded. Perhaps fog lamps should be treated as a threat to on coming traffic. I'm sure they contribute to increase in ICBC claims. I would like to see the use of fog lamps and driving lights made illegal on public highways. and... if anyone has ever taken the time to notice, many of the streets in Prince Rupert are on hillsides, fog lamps create a blind spot that can be hazardous to pedestrians and cyclists. I've been blinded beyond belief a few times. Think of others. DRIVE SAFE, driving is a privilege, not a right. Turn OFF the fog lamps, they don't make you look cool you fool.
Comment by Lloyd on 9th November 2010
Driving lights are clear lense for long distance visibility,some have covers for fog which are yellow. Driving lights go off/on with high beam switches.The HID are another category which fan illumination sending glare in all directions giving only short distant visiblity for the driver and long distant glare. HID lights are on with low beam. Great for the driver but bad for oncomingtraffic.
Fog Lights????
Comment by James Ippel on 9th November 2010
I have clear lensed "fog lights" on my truck, but in reality they are Driving Lights. They have an independant switch so I can, and do turn them off when I meet traffic, except when the oncoming person does not offer the same courtesy. I will turn mine off first, but will turn them back on of the on coming driver does not turn his off.
I find that my lights light up the sides of the roadway for a forward distance of approximately 100 meters, and up approximately 10 meters. This is at a speed of 95 kmph. Maybe I am blessed with a fantastic set of driving lights, but I can assure you that I enjoy their use when driving at night in wet conditions. I also give consideration to oncoming traffic and will turn them off if I am given the same consideration. My driving lights will also turn off when I turn on my Hi Beams.
Considerations is the name of the game. Lets all work together to make our highways safer.
Comment by David Evans on 8th November 2010
So explain why most long haul trucks high-beams are connected to what appear to be large fog lights? Perhaps they know something you and I don't? Also the slightly longer range, while not lighting up directly in front of you, can cast enough light in the distance to catch and reflect off an animals eyes, allowing me to see it sooner = time to adjust ie braking/steering with all the water and soon snow on the road.
ditch lights
Comment by Lloyd on 8th November 2010
With oncoming HID lights on it is harder to see a critter in the middle of the road which I would prefer to see rather than in the ditch. Maybe the HID lights should be directed to the ditches instead of fanning out. Many people are driving with their high beams on longer to compensate for the added glare. How many times have you thought the oncoming vehicle has their highbeams on only to find its the HID lights?
I get it, I get it!
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 7th November 2010
So you see more in the area right in front of you car with your fog lights on, when your braking distance exceeds that. Meantime you cause additional glare for the oncoming traffic. One would think that oncoming traffic headlights plus yours, both on low beam would be enough light right in front of your vehicle. Now when you are in town, normal street lighting lets you see most of the side of the road right in front. Plus there is the illumination of oncoming headlights.
I get it. It ain't rocket science. What I don't get is the lack of courtesy on the road. So what is wrong with shutting them off when there is oncoming traffic and you need more lights up front? Yeah I know, you have to be alert when driving so you can do that and it is a nuisance. I get it. It is too much effort!.
Comment by R Titcomb on 6th November 2010
No, you don't seem to get it Helmut. I'm not talking about fog lights allowing you to see further at all. They illuminate the sides of the road by about 50% more. On the highway I find myself using the low beams with the fog lights a lot more than the high beams. I find it to be a better, more dispersed light to see what is in front of you and along the sides of the road.
Here's another suggestion.
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 6th November 2010
Google "Fog lights for driving" there are lots of items. Here are two to read:

Do a little research. Bryan is the only one who addressed the issue. In some places they take a hard line. One explanation is that some people think it is cool to drive with as many lights on as possible. Back in the 50's the young drivers had all kinds of lights on their cars. This is the year 2010.

Fog lights are for fog period
Comment by Stuart Horner on 6th November 2010
The use of fog lights when conditions don't call for it are illegal in many countries for a reason. Fog lights send out a wide beam of light, high beams and low beams use a narrow band of light. If you use your fog lights in conjunction with your low beams you are loosing the ability to see farther down the road.

Bright white light constricts the size of the pupil, also the rods and cones in your eye will then be less sensitive to detail at night. That is why you can't use fog lights and high beams at the same time. They are for 2 completely different conditions. They don't help your vision down the road where you should be looking. You are more likely to hit an animal on the highway with your fog lights on in clear conditions. Running them when it's not foggy is only giving you a false sense of security. If you are alone on the road, use your fog lights all you want, since we all won't be there to be blinded by them. I'm sure it will be illegal in Canada to use fog lights in clear conditions soon.
They don't do anything but provide glare
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 6th November 2010
Just do the experiment. Use a light meter if you want to. You can't see any more than the first thirty feet and by then it is too late. Your high beams provide more illumination on the highway but you have to dim them when there is oncoming traffic. Try it. Next time you are following a car at 100 ft turn on your fog lights and see if you can read the plate number. You can't. base you argument on something other than you need to support a driving habit that provides extra glare on the road.

Fog light do not prevent accidents, otherwise the law would require that they be on for everyone all the time. Who ever heard of such nonsense as fog lights to save the little critters but blind the driver coming toward you.

I get it. Some people just don't give a crap about anyone else on the road. I get it. I always have.

Comment by R Titcomb on 5th November 2010
Any time you can improve your range of visibility you can drive safer...pretty simple. As for fog lights...I have them from the factory on my Explorer and use them regularly. They greatly improve what you can see on the sides of the road, ditches etc. On the highway they are a godsend for seeing any critters that might be popping up over the banks into your path. Properly aimed headlights and fog lights shouldn't cause any issues. Factory HID headlights are excellent, but the aftermarket cheap conversion kits that simply put an HID bulb in a normal headlight housing cause nothing but unwanted glare and are actually illegal. If HID's are not installed in a proper projector housing they don't do their job.
HID lights...
Comment by Adam Kirkwood on 5th November 2010
Yes, they shine farther, throw a more useable whiter light making it easier to see farther down the road. The high beam is designed to disperse more light onto the sides of the road so that you can see any Bambi or Bullwinkle with a death wish. I know ten people with them in their vehicles and not one of them goes any faster just because of the lights. Do they feel more comfortable driving at night? Yes. Are they safer for themselves and us for having them? Yes. Am I currently searching for a set for my Camry? Hell yes.

To paint everyone with the same brush and say you got brighter lights just so you could go faster is silly and unfair.

Now, if you don't mind, I'm going to watch Golden Girls... I think Alex is on to something...
Night Driving
Comment by David Evans on 5th November 2010
Obviously Helmut doesnt get it...if you drove at night, speed doesn't matter, if its raining its dark any extra light helps me see. Which prevents an accident whether its someones child....or that huge moose that decides to stand in the middle of the highway. Thats my reason for extra or brighter lights, I'm sorry if your not dealing with growing older and perhaps need a new set of glasses or darker lenses? So if my little car with slightly brighter lights is blinding you in the lit downtown area, then there must be other problems afoot...
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 5th November 2010
I might follow your advice if you provided anything but invective. As it is, I suggest you spend you time eating popcorn and watching something more your level..say Gerry Springer. Are we done with that now?

You don't need fog lights unless you drive in a fog, which for some people I guess is all the time. You don't need HID lights unless you drive faster than the illumination range of stock headlamps allow. If you can't see far enough with normal headlamps, slow down. Use you high beams when there is no oncoming traffic. Common courtesy.
Flashing high beams.
Comment by Karen Dedosenco on 4th November 2010
P.Ode is probably one those people who slams on his brakes when someone tailgates him too - A.Ole.
HID lights.
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 4th November 2010
Headlights were/are designed to illuminate a distance at a certain posted speed. Face it you need HID lights to see farther so you can exceed the speed limit. In doing so you temporarily blind the oncoming drivers. Why not just shut off fog lights when you approach another vehicle. That temporary blindness is longer as you get older because your eyes won't adjust as fast. Try getting down and looking directly into your headlights and feel the result and you will understand.

There are side issues. The matter is made worse because some people never check the settings of their headlamps and is also made worse because our roads are not flat. Some people buy vehicles, load them down with stuff to the extent that it raises the headlight beam and they never check their lights. You can't do much about some issues, BUT a lack of courtesy for oncoming drivers is something that should be changed. That's all it is. Courtesy! Unless they change the law...
Turn in MY licence
Comment by David Evans on 3rd November 2010
Well I'm not the one complaining about how someone elses car/truck has better lights. If you've tried HID lights you'd know they do make a huge difference for people that don't have a 9-5 job and drive in the dark. As for the potholes just look by Husky why has that not been patched correctly? or by BMO just examples of our town being out of touch with itself. Maybe if it had Ville added onto its name, money would rain down from all the "concerned" business owners or politicians...but until then I'll keep using fog lights, so I can avoid running over blind/idiotic "pedestrians" and dodge that new pothole on the street thats been caused by everyone avoiding the other one.
Good Bryan
Comment by James Ippel on 3rd November 2010
The Regs were changed. At one time, Fog Lamps were Amber Only, and had to be wired into the lighting system so that they could only be used when you were operating your vehicle with the lights on High Beam. ( I know, I am dating myself) Vehicle manufacturers soon started calling Driving Lights "Clear Lensed Fog Lamps" and the Motor Vehicle Branch of Gov't did not stand up to them.
Todays cleared lensed "Fog Lamps?' do not do a lot of good, but they do make some difference when driving. Personnally, I would like to mount 1,000,000 candle power lights, or airplane landing lights on my vehicle to blind the SOB's who do not have the decency to turn off their driving lights when meeting someone. Yes, the glare is annoying, and distracting, especially in the dark, and when it is raining.
As for David, if you need you fog lights to see all the pot holes, maybe you should consider slowing down, or turning in your licence. Obviously, you can't see the obvious. If you have lived in Terrace for any length of time, you should know that potholes are rampant, and the City Fathers are more concerned with Spirit Parks, etc. than they are with the wellbeing of your vehicle.
about lamps
Comment by Bryan Notheisz on 3rd November 2010
Generally speaking, I agree with Helmut. There are lots of people driving around all the time with headlights and driving/fog lights on, and yes, they can shine right in your mirrors depending on the vehicles involved. Keep in mind there are lots of trucks driving around with lift kits that logically make the beam of light highter.

Here is what the BC Motor Vehicle Act Regulations say:

Auxiliary driving lamps
4.09 (1) A motor vehicle may be equipped with 2 auxiliary driving lamps, mounted on the front of the vehicle at a height of not less than 40 cm and not more than 1.06 m, that are capable of displaying onlywhite light.
(2) An auxiliary driving lamp must be directed so that the high intensity portion of the beam is, at a distance of 8 m from the lamp, at least 12 cm below the height of the lamp and, at a distance of 25 m from the lamp, not higher than 1.06 m from the road surface.
(3) An auxiliary driving lamp must operate so that it is illuminated only when the upper beam of a multiple beam headlamp is illuminated.

Fog lamps
4.11 (1) A motor vehicle may be equipped with 2 fog lamps, mounted on the front of the vehicle below the headlamps, that are capable of displaying only white or amber light.
(2) Each fog lamp must be
(a) mounted not more than 30 cm below the headlamps, and
(b) adjusted and aimed so that, at a distance of 8 m from the lamp, the centre of the beam is at least 10 cm below the height of the fog lamp.
(3) The fog lamp wiring and switch must permit simultaneous operation of the parking lamps, tail lamps, licence plate lamp and, if required, clearance lamps.
(4) The operator of a vehicle may use fog lamps instead of headlamps when atmospheric conditions make the use of headlamps disadvantageous.

This informaiton is available online by searching BC Statutes, here is a direct link:

And David...
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 3rd November 2010
...I had nothing to do with buying a building and putting graffiti all over it. Different issue again and it had been debated here earlier. Twice.
Well all you fog lighters...
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 3rd November 2010 time perform the test I suggested. Those fog lights do nothing to light up a section of road that has not been already been lit up before it got to within thirty feet of your car. The only effect they have on a clear night is to provide extra glare (not a distraction Kirkwood) extra glare. At 90 kms and hour they are useless. Now if you really need those extra little lights to drive safely maybe you are the drivers who should be off the road. If you can't see a pot hole up ahead at 100 ft., you won't see it at 30ft. You don't need those high intensity lights either.

As for Alex having more important thing to concern himself with, it was Alex who responded in defense of fog lights...more important things to concern your self with...yeah right what have you written that is "more important".
Comment by Adam Kirkwood on 3rd November 2010
Helmut... regarding your comment to Alex... you asked him "who said anything about fog lights being distracting?" your whole article is about how fog lights are distracting and could potentially cause an accident because of the extra glare on wet roads... contradict yourself much?

I agree with Rod... any light that can help me distinguish a) the sides of the road in darkened conditions or 2) see a Little Peter Cottontail or Bullwinkle poised to make a dash for the other side of the highway and potentially avoid hitting them, all the better... perhaps one should go back to the learner's handbook and read up on the section about looking down and to the right when approached by an oncoming vehicle in the dark...

If the overlords at the DOT would let us wire our "fog lights" to our high beams, we wouldn't even be having this conversation... for now, we'll (as Alex said) just have to go with HID lights instead... they're better anyway
Slow news day..
Comment by David Evans on 2nd November 2010
Maybe I need my fog lights on to see all the pot-holes and cracks that are all over town. Spend money on things that need it not buy a building to use for some kids art project.
Typical, Alex..
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 2nd November 2010
...who said anything about fog lights being distracting. I could just as well say if you can't see where you are going without having your fog lights on when there is no fog, maybe you should stay home. Actually you are not safe to have on the road. Wait till you get older and then your comments on this might have merit.
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 2nd November 2010
Driving without lights is against the law. It is a different issue.
Fog Lights
Comment by P. Ode on 2nd November 2010
I agree with this 100%. I often get fed up with people who are, what I think, are just too lazy to turn them off as the switch is not conveniently locatedIusually give them the high beams if the light is bothering me. An eye for an eye, etc.
not so
Comment by rod on 2nd November 2010
It's not such a black and white argument, no pun intended.
Fog lights used in clear conditions vastly improve the useable light along the outside edge of the shoulder. They increase the amount of light where critters coming up onto the roadway may appear, making it LESS likely there would be a collision with an animal.
Properly aligned, they do not increase the amount of glare to oncoming drivers. However, they can be too bright for a vehicle's driver travelling in the same direction in front of you.
Instead of suggesting drivers don't use "fog" lights when there's no fog, how about a more positive approach that suggests they be used in any conditions where the increased lighting can be of benefit to the driver? "Fog lights" is just a name.
The No-Lighters
Comment by David Evans on 2nd November 2010
Why not focus on the people driving in rain and at dusk without lights on at all. All the older beaters driving around the north, whic would be forced off the road in Van. Numerous times driving to or from work idiots driving on the highway in the pouring rain, no lights on...cmon people thats even worse..