Tail Lights and Ghost Cars

For safety reasons, daytime running lights are now mandatory on all new vehicles sold or imported into Canada. Strangely, the definition of “daytime running lamp” in the legislation does not include tail lights.

We’ve all seen vehicles at dawn or dusk (even in the dark or fog) with just their driving lights and no tail lights. Clearly, these “ghost” cars are unsafe. Obviously, the headlights are dimmer than they should be but, more importantly, from behind, these vehicles are largely invisible and are effectively ghosts until their brakes are applied.

The Motor Vehicle Act requires motorists to turn on their lights:

  1. from 1/2 hour after sunset to 1/2 hour before sunrise, and
  2. at any other time when, due to insufficient light or unfavourable atmospheric conditions, objects on the highway are not clearly discernible at a distance of 150 m.

If your lights are off during these times, you’re breaking the law and liable for a traffic violation. Interestingly, I’ve even seen a police cruiser an hour before sunrise with only its driving lights on.

At one time, dash lights were out until the lights were turned on. Today’s vehicles have automatic dash lights, so it’s easy to forget.

Bottom line, stay safe. Always remember to turn on your lights and keep an eye out for ghosts.


You need someone truly on your side. Why settle for less? Contact Einfeld Law for a free, initial consultation at (250) 712-0001, visit our website at www.einfeldlaw.com or find us on facebook.

Einfeld Law is a highly knowledgeable and experienced BC personal injury law firm specializing in motor vehicle accidents, motorcycle accidents, and other negligence claims involving bodily injury. We have successfully litigated many ICBC and other insurance claims, including out of province, wrongful death, brain injury, spinal cord injury, whiplash, soft tissue injury, and all other bodily injury claims. We have collected millions of dollars on behalf of our clients. We never act for ICBC or other insurance companies.

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