Good morning. Please advise if it is mandatory to drive with your headlights on after 7.00am in Cape Town on a beautiful summer day.
The regulation that requires when lamps must be lit is copied below. There is no definition for sunset or sunrise but as far as I know there were some court cases that used the actual sunset or sunrise times as recorded by the weather bureau and GPS systems. Please remember that the requirement for when the lamps must be on applies to insufficient light or unfavourable weather conditions. That is normally left to the discretion of a traffic officer.
Vehicles to be equipped with certain lamps and times when certain lamps to be lighted
Reg 157. (1) No person shall operate on a public road a motor vehicle unless—
(a) all lamps fitted to a motor vehicle as contemplated in regulations 159 to 184 inclusive, are undamaged, properly secured, and capable of being lighted at all times; and
(b) the head lamps, rear lamps and number plate lamps are kept lighted during the period between sunset and sunrise and at any other time when, due to insufficient light or unfavourable weather conditions, persons and vehicles upon the public road are not clearly discernible at a distance of 150 metres: Provided that the provisions of this paragraph shall not apply to a motor vehicle parked off the roadway of a public road or in a parking place demarcated by appropriate road traffic signs or within a distance of 12 metres from a lighted street lamp illuminating the public road on which such vehicle is parked.
(2) No person shall operate on a public road a motor cycle, a motor cycle with a side car, a motor tricycle or motor quadrucycle, unless the headlamp of such vehicle is lighted at all times: Provided that the provisions of this subregulation shall not apply to a motor cycle, motor cycle with side car, motor tricycle or motor quadrucycle manufactured before 31 December 1960 which is used only during the period from sunrise to sunset.
(3) A person operating a motor vehicle on a public road shall extinguish the main‑beam of the light emitted by the head lamp of such vehicle if such main-beam could cause a dangerous glare to oncoming traffic.
Alta Swanepoel & Associates