When can I use my fog lights? Let’s start with the road rules.
The Australian Road Rules (Reg 217) covering the use of fog lights states: “the driver of a vehicle fitted with front fog lights or rear fog lights must not operate the fog lights unless the driver is in fog or other hazardous weather conditions causing reduced visibility.”
Put simply, you can turn on your fog lights to see through: fog, rain, dust, and smoke.
Your different lights
You have 4 types of headlights. Regular headlights, high beams, fog lights and daytime running lights, and each have a different purpose.
Daytime running lights
These are fitted on some vehicles but not mandatory in Australia. Daytime running lights turn on automatically whenever the car engine is started.
Regular or Low beam lights
These are your driving lights and Roads and Maritime Services says your headlights must be on when:
- Driving between sunset and sunrise.
- At any other time when there is not enough daylight to be able to see a person wearing dark clothing at a distance of 100 metres.
High beam lights
High beam lights are used when you need to see further ahead along the road. They can be used when streetlights are on, but you must switch back to low beam when there is a car in front of you or coming in the other direction within 200m.
High beam = need to see further ahead.
Fog lights = I need to see through fog, rain, dust, and smoke.
Fog lights are lower on your vehicle and have a steeper angle than normal headlights. Some vehicles have extra fog lights mounted on the front. The beam they emit is a flat horizontal beam which reduces the amount of light reflecting back.
Rear fog lights are red and are designed to indicate to the car behind you where you are.
How do I know my fog lights are on?
Other than the flashing and horn tooting from other drivers, you can tell by the indicators.
Your fog light indicator is the one of a headlight beam with a squiggle through it. You will also see the same picture illuminated on your dashboard.