11
Nov

Car Dimmer Switch Modification

STATE OF CALIFORNIA

DEPARTMENT OF INSURANCE

1700 J STREET

SACRAMENTO, CA 95368

PETE WILSON HARRY WALBRATH

GOVERNOR DIRECTOR

BULLETIN NUMBER 95-2374

DATE: OCTOBER 20, 1995

TO: ALL CALIFORNIA INSURANCE AGENCIES

ALL CALIFORNIA DEALERS OF NEW/USED AUTOMOBILES

FROM: CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF INSURANCE

SUBJ: AUTOMOTIVE VEHICLE HEADLAMP DIMMER SWITCH

1. Pursuant to the California Department of Motor Vehicles Act Number DMV 95-79221, all motor vehicles sold in the State of California after November 1, 1995 will be required to have the headlamp dimmer switch mounted on the floor of the vehicle. The dimmer switch must be mounted in a position accessible to operation by pressing the switch with the left foot. The switch must be far enough removed from the left foot pedals to avoid any inadvertent operation and/or pedal confusion.

2. Included in the above act, and beginning January 1, 1996 all other vehicles with steering mounted switches must be retrofitted with a floor mounted dimmer switch of the type described above. The steering column mounted dimmer switch must be disabled or removed from the vehicle. Vehicles which have not made this change will fail the forthcoming California State Safety Inspection which will begin on this date.

3. It is recognized that this will cause some difficulties and hardship for the driving public. However, this change is being made in the interest of public safety. A recent study entitled Initiation Sequence in California Night Time Highway Traffic Accidents was conducted jointly by the California Department of Highway Patrol and the California Department of Motor Vehicles along with the University of California at Berkeley Public Safety Research Department. In this study it has been shown that 90-95% of all California night time traffic accidents are caused by a blonde getting her foot caught in the steering wheel in an attempt to dim the headlamps of her vehicle.

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