Last week, we brought you GTB President Valter Genone’s description of the new 09 series of amendments to UN Regulation 48, decided at the GRE 89th session in Geneva 2 weeks ago. To understand more about the significance of these amendments, we talked with Timo Kärkkäinen, who chairs the GRE (Working Party on Lighting and Light-Signalling).
DVN: Hello Timo! Will you please introduce yourself to the DVN community?
Timo Kärkkäinen: I work as a Chief Adviser in the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom, which is the vehicle type-approval authority of Finland. My duties include also technical issues of vehicle regulation other than lighting. I have acted as chair of GRE from the year 2021, and I will continue the year 2024 in this position. In my spare time I prefer detective novels to legislative texts.
DVN: GRE just approved the new 09 series of amendments to R48, which now mandates automatic leveling for all headlamps, no longer just those with AFS or with low-beam light sources giving more than 2,000 lumens. What can you tell us about this decision?
T.K.: One of the principles in GRE is to find the consensus in proposals. Therefore, the decision making may take much time. The discussion about mandatory levelling was also linked to the initial aiming of passing-beam headlamps. The mandatory automatic levelling was opposed for a long time due to costs. In addition, the aim of GRE is to be technology-neutral and consider possible alternative solutions. In the 09 series of amendments, the manual levelling is still permitted for off-road buses and off-road trucks (vehicle categories M2G, M3G, N2G, and N3G). For the other vehicle categories, the automatic levelling was finally decided to be the only reasonable solution.
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