Anti fog light campaign pays off for truckie

Truck driver's push to curb use of fog lights pays off, with stricter standards to catch culprits blinding drivers

By Brad Gardner

A truck driver’s anti fog lights campaign is paying off, with stricter standards set to be introduced amid a media blitz aimed at culprits flouting the laws.

Amendments to the Australian Road Rules (ARR) ban the use of front fog lights in clear weather conditions, which Queensland-based truckie Rob Nielsen says will go a long way to improving safety on the road.

For the past five years, Nielsen has been pushing for greater restrictions on the basis fog lights endanger drivers.

Rather than using them for their intended purpose, Nielsen says drivers leave them on in all weather conditions, blinding oncoming drivers.

"I’ve been driven off the road by fog lights," Nielsen says.

The 57-year-old driver says he was blinded by the fog lights of an oncoming four-wheel-drive, which sent him careening off the road and caused $13,000 in damages to his trailer.

Nielsen contacted Queensland Transport about laws applying to fog lights and was told the ARR amendments would be incorporated during the first half of 2009.

"This process will be accompanied by a media campaign to educate drivers of the rule change," a policy officer wrote to Nielsen.

The truck driver has also contacted on-road enforcement officers, who reiterated that drivers are prohibited from using any lights "in a way that is likely to dazzle another road user".

The amendments were made following a consultation process by the National Transport Commission (NTC). Previously, the restrictions only applied to rear fog lights, while front fog lights were dealt with under another rule.

Nielsen, who has been a truck driver for 35 years, is also responsible for promoting in-cab truck cameras through his Watch the Road initiative.

He says the cameras are designed to record run-ins with fellow road users and enforcement officers to show what the industry must contend with on a daily basis.

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