Opinions and Queries
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New Dangers for Old
WOULD like fully to support your leading article of April 2 under the heading "Those Two Rear Lights," There is no doubt that the fitting of two such lights is an important step towards road safety, but in my opinion this advantage will be more than nullified by having one of the proposed rear lights fitted on the near side, off centre, Drivers naturally pass to the off side of any red light and I can envisage many accidents under these conditions when the off-side lamp has failed.
Your remarks about the efficacy of reflectors are undoubtedly correct, because it will not need many miles of driving on a winter's night before these have lost most of their efficiency, and surely it is with a view to winter road conditions that the Road Transport Lighting Act, 1953, has been passed and the regulations thereunder are being made.
London. SEA. J. S. F. POLL/TZER,
Beck and Pollitzer, Ltd.
ELATIVE to your article on the subject of rear lights " in The Commercial Motor dated April 2, I am anxious to record with you that it is my opinion, supported by both drivers and mechanical staff, that, for the sake of safety, the two rear lights should be both on the off side of the vehicle and separately wired:
Birmingham. W. G. POOLE. Transport Manager,
J. A. Phillips and Co., Ltd.
IN your issue dated April 2, you refer to the possible danger of using two rear lights, and you ask for the views of operators on this question.
In the first place, I consider that the carrying of two rear lights, one on each side of the vehicle, is fraught with danger and quite unnecessary. In my view, firmer steps should be taken with all who fail to observe the present ruling with regard to tail lights.
Rather than use two, regulations should be formulated specifying a minimum diameter for the lamp and minimum candle power for the bulb. At present the lamp can be the size of a peanut and nobody seems to care.
If the minimum diameter were fixed at 4 in., with a 24-watt bulb, using a single lamp, the whole problem would at once be solved. The idea of having two lamps, arranged side-by-side, would defeat the purpose behind the regulation, which is that the lamps should indicate the width of the vehicle to which they are fitted.
London, S.W.19. MONOLIGHT,
AS I feel very strongly on the subject of the new lighting regulations, perhaps some of my remarks may be of interest to others.
I do not think that the Government is improving the safety of the roads by the regulations that are to come into force with two rear lights. The failure of that on the off side presents an even greater danger than having no light at all, for it is almost impossible to see what lies behind any lamp at night.
My opinion is that there should be much more care taken in the production of the bulbs; many of these are of poor quality. If rear lights contribute so much to safety, then the bulbs, the main cause of lamp failure, should be required to pass a certain standard of robust-. ness. I would say that 80 per cent. of the failures are due to breakage or burning-out of the bulbs, another 10 per cent, resulting from failure of the wiring. This should be quite independent of the rest of the wiring system. At present the wires for the rear lamp are joined about halfway along the chassis by those for the fuel gauge, and under the cab they meet the main wiring. In any case, all of it should be easily detachable and not secured by clips bolted to the frame.
Remaining failures often result from rust causing bad earthing where single-pole bulbs are used, or breakage of the lamps while reversing. A sensible solution would be to have one rear lamp fitted as now on the off side but incorporating two double-pole bulbs wired independently, also a stoplight bulb. Perhaps these would meet satisfactorily the requirements of the present regulations, but nothing will really increase safety until we get rid of poor-quality bulbs, rear lamps with coloured celluloid or painted plain glass, and those having a lens about the size ot a halfpenny.
I. EVANS, Transport Maintenance Supervisor, Co-operative Wholesale Society, Ltd. Branston, Lines.
Do Not Expect the Best
I WOULD like to make a few remarks concerning the
letter from F. W. Smith, of Exeter, published in your issue of March 26. The vehicles in which he was interested should have been good and well-seasoned clearance-sale oddments, and I have every feeling of sympathy for him, if he had in mind procuring something of use to him.
It is well known that a large number of the vehicles offered, and those which are coming up for sale, form a mixed bag of neglected odds and ends, but I would remind anyone who has any ideas of purchase to be well on the alert.
Vehicles which were taken over were, on the whole, in reasonable and fair condition, at that time, also many of the good men who knew road transport left it. British Road Services have spent thousands of pounds of the taxpayers' hard-earned income, they even sent droves of fresh " transport managers" to Watford to try to knock sense into their skulls, but the whole scheme was, in my view, a waste of time.
We can all now observe the light shining through the clouds, and I am sure that in a few months' time we shall see most of the red vehicles off the road and the sting taken out of the tail of the green ones.
Ewell, Surrey. T. GARDNER,
Pollution By Exhaust Gases ?
I WAS very pleased to see that The Commercial Motor came out strongly against the panicmongers, in the leading article" Lost In A Fog," published in your issue dated March 12.
I am sure that the statistical details which were cited in this article will be of great use to all of us who are endeavouring to combat the witch hunt, if and when it starts.
JOHN BIRCH, General Manager,
London, N.W.5. Birch Bros., Ltd.