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Brake lights at traffic lights

Discussion in 'The UK and Ireland' started by emissonzero, Jan 2, 2020.

  1. emissonzero

    emissonzero Member

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    Is there any way to separate the park brake from the operation of the dome light? I want the option to switch brake lights off when stationary but still want internal light to come on when parked up/opening door(s). If I switch “unlock on park” off and set dome to “off” I can go into park at lights without handles coming out or light coming on. A second press on the “P” selector at the end of a journey unlocks the car but doesn’t put the dome light on. I don’t think there is a combination that would mirror other automatics with electronic handbrakes where the brake switch is separate from the drive/neutral/park selector.
     
  2. VanillaAir_UK

    VanillaAir_UK Moderator UK and Ireland

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    Manual press of internal lights button?
    Or camp mode for longer periods?

    just thinking out loud
     
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  3. rotor2k

    rotor2k Member

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    Why do you want to be in park at traffic lights?
     
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  4. xnetco

    xnetco Member

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    What about double tapping the foot brake?
     
  5. emissonzero

    emissonzero Member

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    What I really want is to be in Neutral (or Drive) but with the electric brake on, rather than relying on the foot brake. That gives following drivers a rest from the bright red lights. Fewer and fewer people do this nowadays but it’s the equivalent of putting a manual car into neutral and pulling the handbrake on if you’re stopped for some time. I think they still teach that for the driving test. The only way I can find to apply the electric brake is to select Park.
     
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  6. emissonzero

    emissonzero Member

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    Yes I see that puts the car into brake hold mode but brake lights remain on, I think.
     
  7. VanillaAir_UK

    VanillaAir_UK Moderator UK and Ireland

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    Hold mode does put the brake lights on unfortunately. I hate the thought of blinding people behind when stopped in a queue.
     
  8. rotor2k

    rotor2k Member

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    Thanks. Although it makes sense, in practice it sounds like a fair amount of shenanigans which statistically over time could cause an accident (pulling the wrong lever). When a park brake is a manual lever that you yank, there's very little that can go wrong. But in the Model 3 what if you accidentally put the car in reverse when the lights turn green? And won't the extra delay of you putting the car into drive be more irritating to the following car than the brake lights while stopped (when there's already an expectation)? I wasn't even aware this was a thing (and now I'm sure I'll notice it for the rest of my days).
     
  9. rotor2k

    rotor2k Member

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    I wasn't even aware this was something that people did -- I don't think it needs to be worried about? I would be fascinated to know this is something that people are passionate about. I find people with automatic transmissions that put the car into park at the lights way more distracting (the brief flash of the reverse light as the gear selector passes through reverse).

    Edit to add: also, my expectation is that brake lights imply braking. If the brake lights go off... is the driver in front of me going to take off soon and therefore I have to be prepared as well?
     
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  10. VanillaAir_UK

    VanillaAir_UK Moderator UK and Ireland

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    Yes, brake lights imply braking ie slowing down. Once stopped, handbrake requires no brake light.

    Nothing worse being dazzled by the high level brake light of the stationary car in front on a dark wet evening.
     
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  11. emissonzero

    emissonzero Member

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    Actually my car is Model S but similar controls and sequences. In dark mornings sitting behind cars with full width brake lights across the back are painfully bright. You can actually select Drive from Park with very light foot pressure on the brake that doesn’t cause lights to blink as you are about to move off. I do agree it’s fiddly though and could be subject to mid-timing.
     
  12. VanillaAir_UK

    VanillaAir_UK Moderator UK and Ireland

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    #12 VanillaAir_UK, Jan 2, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2020
    I thought there must have been a comment about it in highway code

    And wow, a 'MUST' rather than 'SHOULD' so potentially a legal requirement.

    My bold, expand to see full text.
     
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  13. nightowl

    nightowl Member

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    I've been concerned about this. Initially I assumed that being in "hold" would turn off the brake lights but have since realised that this isn't the case.

    My instructor taught me to always apply the handbrake when stationary at traffic lights etc. and in my previous (manual) car I did this. I don't want my brake lights shining at whoever is behind me but at the same time it feels weird to put the car into "park", particularly if this is going to switch on the internal lights.

    Would be nice for this to be an option at least!

    I previously looked up the rules about this recently (as posted by VanillaAir_UK above) and whilst there's a clear MUST NOT regarding dazzling or causing discomfort to other road users, the bold part does say drivers "should" apply the parking brake to avoid glaring brake lights (though it's "should" rather than "SHOULD", but still...)

    Personally it doesn't bother me if the person in front has their brake lights on whilst stationary. I'll notice it but I won't be sat there staring into them.

    Related to dazzling/discomfort... Been flashed twice recently by other drivers whilst I'm driving with dipped headlights. Any way to make them a bit less bright?!
     
  14. davidmc

    davidmc Active Member

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    I thought the "apply hand break when stationary" was to do with not allowing you to accidentally move forwards/backwards if you let go of the foot break accidentally. But most modern cars now have this auto hold function so is a bit of an old saying but good practice? Might be wrong!

    Someone said not long ago that people flash you as they are not use to these new LED lights and think you have your fogs on. Which I think seems a reasonable explanation. You may also notice it's mainly the cars that are closer to the ground and get dazzled easier by these lights.
     
  15. Latibes

    Latibes Member

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    When you get rear ended I bet you wish you had brake lights showing!
     
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  16. nightowl

    nightowl Member

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    Actually that reminds me - the main reason my instructor said to use the handbrake when stationary was in case someone rammed into the back of the car. Less likely to lurch as far forward if the handbrake is on vs just holding the brake pedal. Though thinking about it now, that surely just means our car would take more force of the impact... Hmm.

    Anyway it was that and not dazzling the driver behind.
     
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  17. VanillaAir_UK

    VanillaAir_UK Moderator UK and Ireland

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    If car lurches forward, then person you hit from behind claims on you, you claim on person who rear ended you. etc etc.

    So you take full force, or spread the blame. Tough one, no right answer.
     
  18. VanillaAir_UK

    VanillaAir_UK Moderator UK and Ireland

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    You are in a stationary queue of traffic. Once a car is behind you, the one which you are now blinding, no need for stop lights.

    If no car behind you, then ok to have brake lights on, as it protects you, and you not blinding anyone.
     
  19. Latibes

    Latibes Member

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    Most rear end shunts are low speed queuing at traffic lights, anything that make make people aware is surely a good thing. Not sure brake lights are capable of blinding you too.
     
  20. VanillaAir_UK

    VanillaAir_UK Moderator UK and Ireland

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    urm. is the big stationary object in front not a big enough hint that a car is there? If people cannot see that, they should not be driving. In the dark, the car would have rear lights on, not as if it was invisible at night. What if it was a pedestrian or cyclist?

    Yes, brake lights are very capable of dazzling on dark wet conditions, especially high level brake lights at windscreen height.
     

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