Are Drivers Using Xenon Headlights Contravening The Road Transport Act 1978?
I have written on numerous topics since its inception in April 2009. This particular topic which I am attempting to write today is considered a difficult one to pen.
In trying to write it, no reference material is available whatsoever.
What is the topic which I am referring to?
It is none other than that of xenon headlights. Many drivers and motorists would surely wish to know the answer. It is legal or illegal?
As long as Parliament has yet to pass a law to allow the use of xenon lights, its use by Malaysian motorists is thus not legal.
What are xenon headlights?
Xenon headlights are those blinding, white and very powerful beams which are being used by many new vehicles nowadays, especially those models imported from Korea. The public should be able to quote the examples of vehicles using xenon headlights today.
To my knowledge, the Road Transport Act 1978 has always advocated that the headlights of a vehicle should be of amber or daylight yellow coloured lights.
These lights are reputedly considered to be less blinding and are therefore safer to use. The rear or brake lights however, should ideally be red. No other colour or colours are permitted.
But unfortunately, we see many motorists and drivers fixing all types of coloured lights, both in front and at the rear of their vehicles. Such actions are against the law.
The only vehicle that is allowed to affix the blue coloured Proton emblem on its front is the national car itself.
As stated earlier, I am unaware of any law that has been passed allowing the use of xenon lights. As such, any vehicle which is fitted with such headlights is in fact violating the Road Transport Act 1978.
A very senior officer of the Road Transport Department was asked this question pertaining to the use of xenon lights during one of his inspection of a Kursus Pendidikan Pemandu (K.P.P.) class which he conducted recently.
When asked if the use of xenon lights we illegal, his answer was Yes!
When I asked why no actions were being taken by the J.P.J., his answer surprisingly was, “the sons and daughters of VIPs and high ranking people are the ones using xenon lights”.
How then could actions be carried out against them by the authorities?
Whereas, drivers who modify their headlights at accessory shops would be considered to have violated the country’s law and this action would be taken against them.
It looks as if we now have 2 sets of laws for our problematic xenon lights issue which drivers are facing today. While on the one hand, it is legal for factory fitted xenon headlights. On the other hand, drivers who fit their cars with xenon headlights on their own accord will have to face the music.
Why the disparity?
Two sets of laws for one problem and in one nation, brings about rather interesting situation. Could this be One Malaysia?
Now that you know where you stand regarding this problem, do not be surprised if you’re stopped at a road block one fine day and slapped with a summons for using xenon headlights. You have in fact violated Section 119 (2) of the Road Transport Act 1978. The fine is RM150.
Before ending today’s article, let’s pose this hypothetical question to drivers. Assuming, while driving along, you were confronted by a blinding, white coloured xenon headlight vehicle.
In your inability to see clearly, let’s assume you are involved in an accident. Can you, according to the laws of the country, sue the on coming driver for having caused the accident?
I hold the view and contention that you can very well sue the driver concerned for the accident itself.
As more and more drivers and vehicles convert to using xenon headlights, the government has to do something concrete to alleviate this problem. And a big problem it will become, if not tackled appropriately soon.
As I read the early morning The Star newspaper of the 25th November 2009 edition, and under the article entitled “No Forgiveness For Communist Leader, Chin Peng”, our Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muyahiddin Yassin, was quoted to have branded PAS spiritual leader and Kelantan’s Menteri Besar, Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat as being inconsistent in his decision making process.
I just smiled and wish to remind our D.P.M, isn’t that what is considered the pot is calling the kettle black?
What about the xenon headlights problem, Datuk? Is that decision consistent? Can the Minister of Transport please answer?