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Old 5th November 2007, 16:29   #1
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Default Do we really need Dippers in India...???

May be ... But, I couldn't help this thread here...

Let me give some background of me here. I have been driving in India during 1986-1991 and then moved to Kuwait and then to Saudi Arabia. I have been driving all along there (about 16 years) and used to take cabs/ limos in India during my vacations. Now that I have come back for good to India and have started driving for the past 1 month here, I am kind of compelled to write this.

The Hi-Beam and the Dipper. Two settings for the Head-Lights of any vehicle. These have been provided for obviously right reasons.
Hi-Beam for free highway driving in the nights, when there is no on-coming vehciles.
Dipper - driving in cities in the nights with citylights, narrow roads which are lit during night and on high-way when on-coming vehcile also has its lights on.
I have watched the high Way Bus drivers and Truck drivers almost, I say again, almost follow this norm.
But, within the city, its chaos. The cabs, Auto Rickshaws, Share-A-Autos, mini trucks, big trucks (lorries), private buses (IT company buses inclsive), and private car owners - Almost everyone drives their cars with HI-BEAM ON. All along.. Never use the Dipper. I even asked few cab drivers and autowallas.. They said, "HI-BEAM is for better vision and Dipper is when you stop your car you can use them". Otherwise, most of the times, its HI-BEAMS all the way...!!! And added to that, they replace the stock-bulbs with Halogen hi-power bulbs for 'better visibility'. When I tried to 'educate' a few cab drivers that they must dip their lights when there's an on-coming vehcile during the night, he replied, "But he too is coming with HI-BEAM and will not DIP his light.. So, why should I.." So, both ways, with HI-BEAMS on, blinding each other for no reason, thats the way they drive...!!!
Then I gave up...
But, I am still not using HI-BEAM for better visibility (!) and trying to use the DIPPER all the time driving. It is difficult, but I am kind of managing.
With more and more educated owners / drivers come on the road, I guess this mentality could change... But I don't have much hopes...
(most of the night-time accidents happen due to such sudden blinding by HI-BEAM lights...)
Is there a way to educate these drivers...???
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Old 5th November 2007, 16:52   #2
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Welcome to the club mate. I have been trying so hard here in Delhi to make people lower there beams by using the dipper frequently. What surprises me is the non-chalance with which the usage is ignored and the guys continue to run on a full beam.

I still use the low beam during the cities and the other day when I was hollering at the abuse of the high beam my wife let me have a piece of her mind - "What makes you think that you are right? It cannot be that no one knows what the correct way of driving is and you do. Looks like you are the one who is wrong about the usage of high beams".

There I was... bruised, battered and too stunned. Now I dont complain anymore. I just live with it.
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Old 5th November 2007, 17:05   #3
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HA HA HA HA... I have one that gives her piece of mind to me too...!!!
I mean the species called 'wife'...!!!
As they say, in the World of Naked, the one with a piece of cloth is lunatic...!!!
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Old 5th November 2007, 17:12   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RajaTaurus View Post
May be ... But, I couldn't help this thread here...
The thread raises an important safety issue and it's not stupid at all!

Quote:
Originally Posted by RajaTaurus View Post
I have watched the high Way Bus drivers and Truck drivers almost, I say again, almost follow this norm.
Every cloud has a silver lining!

Quote:
Originally Posted by RajaTaurus View Post
But, within the city, its chaos. The cabs, Auto Rickshaws, Share-A-Autos, mini trucks, big trucks (lorries), private buses (IT company buses inclsive), and private car owners - Almost everyone drives their cars with HI-BEAM ON. All along.. Never use the Dipper. I even asked few cab drivers and autowallas.. They said, "HI-BEAM is for better vision and Dipper is when you stop your car you can use them". Otherwise, most of the times, its HI-BEAMS all the way...!!! And added to that, they replace the stock-bulbs with Halogen hi-power bulbs for 'better visibility'. When I tried to 'educate' a few cab drivers that they must dip their lights when there's an on-coming vehcile during the night, he replied, "But he too is coming with HI-BEAM and will not DIP his light.. So, why should I.." So, both ways, with HI-BEAMS on, blinding each other for no reason, thats the way they drive...!!!
Then I gave up...
But, I am still not using HI-BEAM for better visibility (!) and trying to use the DIPPER all the time driving. It is difficult, but I am kind of managing.
With more and more educated owners / drivers come on the road, I guess this mentality could change... But I don't have much hopes...
(most of the night-time accidents happen due to such sudden blinding by HI-BEAM lights...)
Is there a way to educate these drivers...???
There exists a device that can be fitted in the front of any vehicle to dip the highbeam automatically, as soon as light exceeding a particular intensity falls on it. The device is fitted with a light sensor. When the light disappears, the device turns low beam into high, automatically. I first learnt about it in 1978. Newer versions are more advanced. One brand is called BHARAT RAKSHAK.

IMHO, the MV Act and Rules can be amended to make the device compulsory fitment on all vehicles at the manufacturing stage itself. But then, road safety is not high on the agenda of our law makers!
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Old 5th November 2007, 19:44   #5
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Quote:
IMHO, the MV Act and Rules can be amended to make the device compulsory fitment on all vehicles at the manufacturing stage itself. But then, road safety is not high on the agenda of our law makers!
In addition to this, I feel educating the drivers about the significance of hi/low beams along with proper implementation of the rules should solve this problem.

The main issue here is with the mindset of maximum people who are driving, with a total disregard and lack of concern for the other drivers.
Seems like the motto these jokers follow is 'bhaad me jaye junta, apna kaam banta'.
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Old 5th November 2007, 20:44   #6
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Agree with you all. Makes me wonder, how did the headlamp leveller get priority over the high beam sensor? The latter would've been a more sensible mandate than the leveller device, which would only make the high beam, more high, if the driver doesn't adjust it back..
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Old 5th November 2007, 21:04   #7
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Thankfully in Cochin if you just flash the pass beam at the opposite vehicle, they usually put it back on low beam. I find that the TAXI drivers within the city are very rude and seldomn dim their lights within the city.
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Old 5th November 2007, 21:48   #8
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I regularly use dippers on highways ( low beams in city all the way) & have found people do use dippers but i start it first.
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Old 5th November 2007, 22:19   #9
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All very good points guys. The reality is that the powers that be seem to have higly misplaced priorities as regards safety.

Case in point is highbeams. One wonders why trucks which can barely hit 45km when fully loaded even need high beams. Not only do they run on high beams but with a high wattage bulb. Needless to say most don't know anything about dipping lights. However now they must have remote levelling lights which can then be pointed straight at your face with 120 watts!

This is probably the single highest contributor to nightime accidents on indian roads.
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Old 5th November 2007, 23:50   #10
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I use dipper or high beam based on oncoming or traffic ahead. In the US there was a rule like while approaching oncoming traffic within 300 ft <?) use low beam and while approaching traffic from behind use low beam within 200 feet. I tried to follow the same approximately ~100 Ft+. Another thing, I use high beam while going faster and stick to low beam while going slower for visibility reasons.
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Old 6th November 2007, 00:57   #11
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The problem, I feel, is the lack of proper lighting on our roads. Look at the roads in Whitefield area or even the ORR. I have never seen operational stret lights in these areas.

When stretlights are missing, most drivers do feel the need to put on their high beams & they forget to lower them when faced with oncoming traffic

In the highways there are no stretlights anyways so there is better compliance.

I use the duoores & use the high beam very infrequently. Sometimes when I am unsure of the road ahead or I spot an unlit cyclist or an idiot dashing across the street ahead wearing dark clothes, then I alternate between dipper & high beam for a short while & dim lights when I see approaching vehicles, especially two wheelers.
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Old 6th November 2007, 01:01   #12
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No matter how much I dip.... I dont get any response with a low beam. When I do get a low beam, I feel like yelling out of my window and big thank you.

These are a few givens on Indian roads like Autos going at 20kmph on the middle of the road, cutting you off without any signal. no lane discipline etc etc,,
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Old 6th November 2007, 02:25   #13
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i think situation is slightly better in some places in chennai. i think there is a rule that high beams are not allowed inside city.. was told this by a few cab drivers when i was younger
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Old 6th November 2007, 02:45   #14
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^^Its the same everywhere... but where is it enforced is the question.
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Old 6th November 2007, 03:11   #15
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I think i heard a rule, long time back on a highly lit road, (that the govt has earmarked) you are only allowed to use park lights and the street lights are to be used for driving?
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