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LCQ10: Vehicles installed with high-powered HID headlamps

    Following is a question by the Hon Albert Chan and a written reply by the Secretary for Transport and Housing, Ms Eva Cheng, at the Legislative Council meeting today (November 14):


     Recently, some members of the public have reflected to me that the headlamps of many vehicles have been converted to brighter "HID" lamps (i.e. high intensity gas-discharge headlamps).  As such headlamps are twice as bright as the original filament headlamps and emit dazzling light, they blur the vision of pedestrians and other drivers, jeopardizing their safety.  In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the number of complaints received about vehicles installed with high-powered HID headlamps in each of the past three years;

(b) whether it knows the current number of vehicles installed with high-powered HID headlamps; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and

(c) whether it has assessed the impact of such headlamps on other drivers; if so, of the findings; if not, the reasons for that?


Madam President,

     The Road Traffic (Construction and Maintenance of Vehicles) Regulations (Cap 374A) require that all headlamps must be capable of emitting adequately aligned dipped beams so that they are at all times incapable of dazzling any person who is 8 metres or more in the front and whose eye-level is 1 metre or more above the ground.

(a) At present, Transport Department (TD) does not keep separate statistics on complaints concerning vehicles installed with high-powered HID headlamps.  However, upon receipt of complaints that may be pursued, TD will arrange for the vehicles to be examined.  In 2004, 2005, and 2006, TD had arranged examination of headlamps for 226, 70 and 78 vehicles respectively.

(b) The construction of retrofit type HID headlamps does not meet the statutory requirements.  Vehicles with high-powered HID headlamps are mostly illegally modified.  The original filament headlamps were replaced by high-powered HID headlamps without approval from the TD.  TD does not have information on the number of such vehicles.  

(c) High-powered HID headlamps will cause dazzling and affect the safety of other road users.  The Police will step up inspection and enforcement action to combat illegal conversion of HID headlamps.

Ends/Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Issued at HKT 12:35


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