Skip to content Skip to main navigation


Avani Terraces - Greenway
Life is looking up

A Ministerial lesson in how to use your fog lights

By johnboy - 16 March 2012 58

With his Minister for Police hat on Simon Corbell is letting you all know how to use fog lights properly:

“There appears to be a misconception in the community about the use of fog lights and drivers may not be aware that it is illegal to use fog lights when driving in normal weather conditions,” Mr Corbell said.

“Fog lights were designed to help drivers see and be more visible when driving in fog or other hazardous weather conditions which can reduce visibility.

“Different to long distance driving lights, fog lights have a low, flat, wide beam that illuminates the road below fog or mist and this can be hazardous to drivers in other normal driving conditions by blocking or minimising their vision.

“Since March 2000 it became an offence to use rear fog lights in non-inclement weather but it did not become an offence to use front fog lights in non-hazardous weather until the road rules were amended in March 2010.”

Fog lights were designed to be mounted low on a vehicle’s front bumper and have a beam pattern that is low and diffused, unlike a headlight which has a focussed beam.

Rear fog lights were designed to allow a vehicle to be seen by drivers behind that vehicle.

“It is an offence to drive with driving lights on that may dazzle and distract other drivers, even if those driving lights were mounted below the bumper bar of the vehicle,” he said.

“ACT Policing has issued a small number of traffic infringement notices for fog light related offences in past years, however officers were also aware that many drivers do not realise they have their fog lights on. Cautionary measures will continue to be taken, however fines can be issued of up to $102 for the offence.

What’s Your opinion?

Post a comment
Please login to post your comments, or connect with
58 Responses to
A Ministerial lesson in how to use your fog lights
dtc 6:19 pm
16 Mar 12

jawm said :

Those little ”stork things’ on the side of the steering wheel have a purpose – one that seems to be lost of many drivers.

Being to deliver babies?

You dont want that to happen when you are driving.

Girt_Hindrance 8:13 pm
16 Mar 12

Hmm, recently bought a subaru, always drive with the headlights on- front fog lights included. I don’t use the rear unless its foggy, people that do, suck. I’ve adjusted and confirmed that they point down significantly, below eyesight. As the Minister says, “low and diffused”. I’m quite sure mine are low enough. Why? I read a long time ago about Daytime Running Lights, how they’re mandatory in some Countries, that after implementation, accidents were reduced by up to 30%. I can’t quote any research, but I have been driving for 15 years and I’ve never been had an accident, nor caused one. I’d have to recommend it to anyone as an extra safeguard to making your vehicle visible. I’ve also driven many country and interstate roads where they’ve signposted the ‘lights on’ recommendation- no weather differentiations.

IrishPete 8:23 pm
16 Mar 12

dtc said :

One of my pet hates is people who get worked up about fog lights, given that in the scheme of driving issues and dangers they are probably somewhere around no. 235 (if that)

In daytime, maybe, but at night (and even worse, at night in the country) it’s another matter – 1) can’t see past the car in front that has its rear fog lights on, 2) can’t see anything when a car is approaching with its front fog lights one, and 3) pretty distracting when a car behind you has its front fog lights on.

I usually deal with this by putting on whichever set of fog lights will in turn blind/distract the other driver. Sometimes if I’m feeling generous I’ll just flash the relevant fog lights on and off. It rarely works.


IrishPete 8:24 pm
16 Mar 12

Felix the Cat said :

I can’t believe that people need a lesson on when to use fog lights. Do people need lessons too on when to wipe their arses?

…probably not, but many of them need lessons on handwashing after wiping their arses, or shaking that list drip out of their willy.

IrishPete 8:26 pm
16 Mar 12

jawm said :

I’m definitely in the ‘why do you have your !@#&*!$ fog lamps on when it’s not foggy?!?!’ camp.

However I’m sure on some cars it might be easy to overlook that the fog lamps are on (from the driver’s perspective i.e. less than perfect ergonomics when it comes to switches/dashboard symbols).
Also, let’s face it folks you don’t need a commercial pilot’s licence to drive a car, there must be a lot of people out there who find all the buttons/dials/symbols in some modern cars a bit of a challenge (said only slightly condescendingly).

But speaking of cars and lights… what I’d REALLY like to see is more government/police action against the huge number of drivers who feel they don’t need to use their indicators. Those little ”stork things’ on the side of the steering wheel have a purpose – one that seems to be lost of many drivers.

Every car I’ve ever driven that has fog lights also has warning lights somewhere to tell you they are on – a driver ignoring warning lights probably shouldn’t be driving.

And I thoght indicators were deactivated by law on ACT-registered cars?

IP (lives in NSW)

Deckard 9:34 pm
16 Mar 12

Foglights, meh!!

How about a crackdown on misdirected headlights. Much worse than 90% of foglights out there.

Aeek 10:06 pm
16 Mar 12

A related peeve is the law on using hi-beam is based on ancient tech, modern hi-beams are weapons when used that close..

Very Busy 10:16 pm
16 Mar 12

A good approach to this problem would be to change the Australian Design Rules in relation to the front fog light switch. A push button type switch that turns the lights on only until the vehicle is turned off seems like the way to go. When the vehicle is then restarted, the fog light button would need to be pressed again for the fog lights to be turned on.

The rear fog lights on my car can only be operated when the headlights are on. Then, when the headlights are turned off the rear fog lights are also turned off and will not come on again until the headlights are turned on AND the rear fog light switch is also reactivated. ADR’s should also be changed to make this type of setup mandatory.

In the meantime, we’re fighting a losing battle if we want the police to enforce this road rule. On many occasions I have seen police cars driving around in clear weather with fog lights on.

Watson 10:26 pm
16 Mar 12

I have never been blinded by fog lights during the day? They look wanky, but that’s the only thing I can say against them. Or am I missing something here?

I get far more worked up about half of the drivers not switching their lights on when there’s fog or rain.

puggy 10:35 pm
16 Mar 12

SnapperJack said :

Always on fog lights (or DRLs – daytime running lights) were all the rage about ten years ago.

Um, there’s a big difference between DRLs and fog lights. DRLs aren’t illegal and are showing up on more cars, not fewer (mostly in LED form).

bd84 11:59 pm
16 Mar 12

Fog lights are high beam lights, it is no different to driving with your normal high beams on. They do not make your car cooler, they make you look like a moron. They have no use or benefit in conditions other than in fog or very heavy rain, funny enough they’re the only times you can legally use them. Use in conditions other than these only dazzle and blind oncoming and preceding drivers.

The excuse of “I didn’t know they were on” is one of a complete idiot. By law fog lights are required to have their own switch and only work when your headlights are on and there is even a warning light on your dash when they are turned on, the same as there is one for your normal high beams. If you do accidentally have them on, it should only be about 30 seconds until you notice it and rectify it.

It’s time the government gave some more money to the police to fund some proper policing of our roads or road safety. We shouldn’t have the CPO coming out to say that they only focus on some parts of the road rules and rely on media releases that the majority of drivers will never see or hear about.

PrinceOfAles 12:01 am
17 Mar 12

Watson said :

I have never been blinded by fog lights during the day? They look wanky, but that’s the only thing I can say against them. Or am I missing something here?

I get far more worked up about half of the drivers not switching their lights on when there’s fog or rain.

I totally agree. .

bigred 2:30 am
17 Mar 12

Rear foglights are a great talegater.deterrent. Still not sure what the front mounted “wayne kerr” onesactually achieve.

Postalgeek 7:39 am
17 Mar 12

Haven’t noticed fog lights at all. What I have noticed is a large number of stupid drivers who don’t turn their lights on in wet weather. Give me lights on when its sunny any day.

Deref 7:57 am
17 Mar 12

I’ve never been dazzled by fog lights, though lots of people use them. They’re low and focussed down onto the road

But nearly every night I’m dazzled by idiots who don’t understand (or don’t care) when to dip their high beam, or whose lights aren’t properly adjusted.

Related Articles

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Copyright © 2017 Riot ACT Holdings Pty Ltd. All rights reserved. |

Search across the site