GM asks government to require daytime running lights on all U.S. vehicles

Thursday, December 20th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

DETROIT (AP) _ General Motors Corp. has asked the federal government to require daytime running lights on all vehicles sold in the United States, the company said Thursday.

The company said the lights _ which run at low intensity during the day _ improve safety by making vehicles more conspicuous to other drivers and pedestrians.

GM requested the lights in a letter to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration administrator Jeffrey Runge.

The agency will review the proposal and respond within 120 days, spokesman Rae Tyson said.

GM began installing daytime running lights in 1995. Toyota Motor Corp., Volkswagen AG, The Volvo Group and BMW AG also install such lights, said Robert Lange, GM executive director, structure and safety integration.

Ford Motor Co. does not install the lights on its U.S. products, spokeswoman Sara Tatchio said. She said the company was waiting for the results of federal glare studies before taking a definitive position on the issue.

The Chrysler Group of DaimlerChrysler AG installs the lights in some U.S. fleet vehicles and all Canadian vehicles, spokeswoman Angela Ford said. The company was awaiting more federal research before deciding whether to mandate them, she said.

The running lights are mandatory in Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Hungary and Canada.

Referring to federal studies, Lange said the lights have reduced daytime collisions by 5 percent, and daytime, single-vehicle pedestrian fatalities by 28 percent.

Tyson called the research limited so far and said further study was needed.

The safety administration is in the final stages of considering a rule to reduce the intensity of daytime running lights. A decision is expected about mid-2002.