Reversing lights

Reversing lights

Author
Discussion

ConwyC

Original Poster:

69 posts

27 months

Thursday 10th October 2019
quotequote all
Was whinging that reversing lights are useless on cars and was told they are there to warn people not to aid reversing. However I believe reversing lights are not a MOT failure, yet every car has them but trailers don't.

So what are reversing lights for and do you have a car that has useful reversing lights?


Puddenchucker

3,064 posts

188 months

Thursday 10th October 2019
quotequote all
ConwyC said:
However I believe reversing lights are not a MOT failure, yet every car has them but trailers don't.
At least one reversing light must be fitted and in good working order otherwise it's a MOT failure.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/mot-inspection-manual-...

jamest1988

98 posts

102 months

Thursday 10th October 2019
quotequote all
Puddenchucker said:
At least one reversing light must be fitted and in good working order otherwise it's a MOT failure.
Only on vehicles registered after 2009.

The reversing light on my shed hasn’t worked for a couple of years, (changed the bulb, changed the reverse switch on the gearbox, CBA chasing wires around the whole car), every now and then I'll get someone helpful letting me know my lights out.

I'm very aware of it not working when negotiating supermarket car parks, people don’t seem to realise the car is moving if its not displaying a reverse light.


xx99xx

980 posts

43 months

Thursday 10th October 2019
quotequote all
Sadly I suspect their main purpose is to warn/inform others. There is a tight balance to be struck between style and functionality and clearly style wins most of the time by ending up as a tiny LED light to tick the compulsory reversing light box.

In the absence of a reversing camera, I've had to use fog lights a few times to add a bit more light back there where there's been no street lights, no moon, no nothing, and I'd left my night vision goggles at home with the rest of my urban warfare equipment.

killerferret666

457 posts

158 months

Thursday 10th October 2019
quotequote all
jamest1988 said:
Puddenchucker said:
At least one reversing light must be fitted and in good working order otherwise it's a MOT failure.
Only on vehicles registered after 2009.
From 2009 cars had to be manufactured with one but for an MOT it wasnt compulsory on cars until much later post 2017.

I required one for my kitcars IVA test in 2013 but dont require one for the MOT.

Pica-Pica

9,066 posts

54 months

Thursday 10th October 2019
quotequote all
Back in the days, when I learnt to drive, my dad fitted a reversing lamp on his 100e. It was operated by a manual switch. It was essential when street lights were so dim or mostly absent around our local villages.
They are useful, when reversing into drives in remote stone-walled areas. With modern auto-trans set-ups, I don’t believe they light up when you go from Park to Drive, because you do not go through Reverse.

mikeveal

3,769 posts

220 months

Thursday 10th October 2019
quotequote all
killerferret666 said:
From 2009 cars had to be manufactured with one but for an MOT it wasnt compulsory on cars until much later post 2017.

I required one for my kitcars IVA test in 2013 but dont require one for the MOT.
Is that actually true?
A reverse gear itself wasn't mandatory when I did SVA, have they changed that?

Although I wouldn't be that surprised if legislation required a reversing light on a car without a reverse gear.

OverSteery

3,240 posts

201 months

Thursday 10th October 2019
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This is what you need

sospan

1,594 posts

192 months

Thursday 10th October 2019
quotequote all
Section 29 of IVA...
29 Reversing Lamps
Application: All Vehicles


Method of Inspection

Required Standard


Carry out a visual check of the reverse lamps fitted to the vehicle for operation, colour, number and correct positioning.
Scene Lamps whose primary function is to illuminate a working area to the rear of a vehicle when it is stationary are acceptable when fitted on emergency service vehicles or other vehicles designed for use as incident support/recovery vehicles. These lamps may be connected to the reversing lamps to aid night time reversing manoeuvres.
Reverse lamps;
1. They must be operational
2. The correct number must be fitted to the vehicle (Table 1)
3. They must emit white light.
4. They must be positioned to face the rear and meet the positional requirements of Table 1.
5. They must operate by selection of reverse gear, or be fitted with a telltale warning device.
6. Where two lamps are fitted they must be fitted symmetrically and be a matched pair.
Table 1
TYPE


NUMBER



APPLICATION


COLOUR

POSITION
ANGLES OF VISIBILITY

MAX DISTANCE FROM SIDE (mm)
MAX HEIGHT (mm)
MIN HEIGHT (mm)
Reversing Lamps
Min 1 Max 2
Mandatory
White
No requirement
1200
250
To the rear
Revision: 4 Date: 03/04/2018 1 of 2
Reversing Lamps 29

Trophy Husband

3,712 posts

77 months

Thursday 10th October 2019
quotequote all
OverSteery said:
This is what you need
Twin tanks, check. LCB, check. Rear spotty, check. Those were the days.

I really wish I'd kept mine for obvious reasons!!

TwigtheWonderkid

36,683 posts

120 months

Thursday 10th October 2019
quotequote all
jamest1988 said:
Puddenchucker said:
At least one reversing light must be fitted and in good working order otherwise it's a MOT failure.
Only on vehicles registered after 2009.

The reversing light on my shed hasn’t worked for a couple of years, (changed the bulb, changed the reverse switch on the gearbox, CBA chasing wires around the whole car), every now and then I'll get someone helpful letting me know my lights out.

I'm very aware of it not working when negotiating supermarket car parks, people don’t seem to realise the car is moving if its not displaying a reverse light.
Even if your car didn't need one due to the year it was registered, surely if it has one, it has to work to pass the MOT? Same with spare tyres. You don't need one, but a bald one is a fail.

mikeveal

3,769 posts

220 months

Thursday 10th October 2019
quotequote all
I checked.
Under the MSVA a reversing light is optional.
See section 6, annex 6 "Lighting requirements for tricycles (other than motorcycle) and heavy quadricycles".
I guess it still depends on the vehicle class.

JimbobVFR

2,434 posts

114 months

Thursday 10th October 2019
quotequote all
ConwyC said:
Was whinging that reversing lights are useless on cars and was told they are there to warn people not to aid reversing. However I believe reversing lights are not a MOT failure, yet every car has them but trailers don't.

So what are reversing lights for and do you have a car that has useful reversing lights?
My JDM import Mazda Bongo has pretty good reverse lights, 1 each side, especially since I fitted brighter LEDs.

The Japanese market doesn't seem to require a rear fog light though so a lot of imported ones lose a reverse on the right to accommodate a fog instead, mines a tiny little added LED mounted in a reflector so I kept both reverse. Very handy having decent light, especially on a dark campsite if arriving late and it's also better for the reversing camera as the night vision is poor.

WJNB

2,637 posts

131 months

Thursday 10th October 2019
quotequote all
Trophy Husband said:
OverSteery said:
This is what you need
Twin tanks, check. LCB, check. Rear spotty, check. Those were the days.

I really wish I'd kept mine for obvious reasons!!
Channel Island registered?

Nik da Greek

2,503 posts

120 months

Thursday 10th October 2019
quotequote all
I don't have a reversing light on my car. It's never failed an MOT because of it. It never had one from the factory

It is, however, quite annoying to park at night

WJNB

2,637 posts

131 months

Thursday 10th October 2019
quotequote all
Was preparing to move out of a parking space when I noticed that a car opposite had its reversing lights on, so waited. Without them I may well have continued my manoeuvre & risked a collision.

On most of my cars over many years I fit an audible reversing warning sound wired to an on/off switch. Would not be without it for on selected occasions it alerts pedestrians who may not see me beginning to move, spot my reversing lights or be in 'brain dead' mode & neither visually or aurally alert to what is around them.

paintman

6,628 posts

160 months

Thursday 10th October 2019
quotequote all
TwigtheWonderkid said:
Even if your car didn't need one due to the year it was registered, surely if it has one, it has to work to pass the MOT? Same with spare tyres. You don't need one, but a bald one is a fail.
4.6.1. Condition and operation
You must inspect all reversing lamps fitted to vehicles first used from 1 September 2009.
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/mot-inspection-manual-...

If the vehicle is prior to that date it isn't a testable item so you might get told by the tester but not a fail.

Same applies to your spare tyre. Not a tested item, but:
5.2.2. Road wheel condition
You only need to inspect the road wheels fitted to the vehicle at the time of the inspection. If you notice a defect on a spare wheel, you should tell the vehicle presenter about it.
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/mot-inspection-manual-...

Edited by paintman on Thursday 10th October 17:14

GSalt

298 posts

59 months

Thursday 10th October 2019
quotequote all
Pica-Pica said:
Back in the days, when I learnt to drive, my dad fitted a reversing lamp on his 100e. It was operated by a manual switch. It was essential when street lights were so dim or mostly absent around our local villages.
Got a manual reversing work lamp on my motorhome, flip a switch to turn on regardless of the gear the vehicle is in. Wired in a reversing camera to it, so it gives me a quick reminder of whether or not the lamp is on. Easy to drive off and forget it's still on otherwise.

Incidentally, because the previous owner that installed it took the first switch box that came to hand it's labelled "Anchor Light". I still haven't been able to figure out what the "Bilge Pump" switch is connected to.

SS2.

13,667 posts

208 months

Thursday 10th October 2019
quotequote all
TwigtheWonderkid said:
Even if your car didn't need one due to the year it was registered, surely if it has one, it has to work to pass the MOT? Same with spare tyres. You don't need one, but a bald one is a fail.
Items are either testable, or they're not.

A reversing light on say a vehicle from 1996 is not a testable item and, as such, it's not a failure if it's inoperable.

Likewise a spare wheel - not a testable item, although they can / should advise the person submitting the vehicle if it's defective.

TwigtheWonderkid

36,683 posts

120 months

Thursday 10th October 2019
quotequote all
SS2. said:
TwigtheWonderkid said:
Even if your car didn't need one due to the year it was registered, surely if it has one, it has to work to pass the MOT? Same with spare tyres. You don't need one, but a bald one is a fail.
Items are either testable, or they're not.

A reversing light on say a vehicle from 1996 is not a testable item and, as such, it's not a failure if it's inoperable.

Likewise a spare wheel - not a testable item, although they can / should advise the person submitting the vehicle if it's defective.
OK, never knew that, every day's a skool day.