The Phantom of the...Highway?

J.C. Howard

J.C. Howard | Oct 10, 2017

New safety rule in Canada takes aim at tail lights


It happens to the best of us; you’re cruising down the highway just after the sun has set, there is plenty of ambient light to see the road and for those on the road to see you. Moments later, a driver in oncoming traffic flashes their lights at you, and you realize that in a matter of minutes you went from being completely visible to being a…Phantom Vehicle! ::Cue Thunder-strike::

The same issue may arise from the lack of illuminated tail lights. According to a report from the CBC in Toronto, Canada is preparing to introduce legislation that would ensure that cars would have tail lights that would illuminate automatically in the evening. Many modern vehicles have dashboard lights and daytime headlights—the latter is a feature mandatory in Canada since 1989—that light up automatically, causing many drivers to believe that their taillights do the same. But alas, darkness falls and these cars virtually disappear into the night.

"A high influx of letters about the increasing amount of phantom vehicles on the roads” was mentioned in an internal Transport Canada memo written to the Transport Minister Marc Garneau. So having been open to public comment for 75 days, the proposed regulation regarding automated tail lights is expected this fall with a mandatory compliance date of September 1, 2020. This news is nothing else if not, illuminating.

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