Ofcom exempts road users
But only if they're saving lives
Ofcom has proposed that intelligent traffic radio systems be licence-exempt, but initially only where it improves the the safety of the driving experience.
The EU has already mandated that 30MHz of spectrum, between 5875 and 5905MHz, be reserved for Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS), but while Viviane Reding seems to think ITS will magically disperse traffic jams Ofcom is only planning to allow safety applications to use the spectrum without a licence, at least initially.
The full proposal (pdf) includes a list of 19 possible applications, as examples of what the regulator considers to be "safety-related". These include collision warnings, notice of approaching emergency vehicles, and automatically dipping headlights. Slightly harder to understand are in-vehicle signage and stop-sign indication: which would seem to be redundant if one has a car with windows, as is most popularly the case.
The regulator also notes that ITS deployments are going to have to work nicely together, but quite how that can be ensured isn't clear. Manufacturers of cars, and street signs, across Europe are going to have to work together to ensure not just interoperability but consistent functionality, without any regulatory framework to force them to do so - otherwise the 30MHz of bandwidth available could quickly fill up and we'd have to fall back on using our eyes to see what lies ahead.®
Oh no I'm sure it'll be great.. the car won't be able to make heads or tails out of all that non-standard equipment jamming up the band, but it can be all like "Wow, look at all that RF noise in the ITS band up ahead! Must be a traffic jam!" 8-)
Foglights - an easier solution
Just follow the fuckwit home - you can probably tail them from a good mile or two since they never turn the bastard things off - and then apply a significiant overpressure event to the light array. I normally find a sledgehammer is a reasonably effective tool for this.
Alternatively, buy an old (Series 2, 2a or 3) Land Rover. When some idiot can't be arsed to dim their lights, just steer towards them (if in front - "Sorry mate, I was blinded by your lights") or stomp on the brakes - if they hit you then they were obviously far too close anyway (hardly the most effective braking system in the world, so they must have been **really** close!)
Of course, in an ideal world the correct solution is to report them to the Boys in Blue (or is it all black body armor now?) since the fuckwits are (a) breaking the law as per the Road Traffic Act and (b) driving without due care and consideration for other road users.
Mind you, Plod can't seem to quite grasp the concept that only offical Emergency Services vehicles are supposed to show blue lights anyway, and so there's an increasing number of little scrotes with blue 'accessory' lights, and drivers (especially fucking BMW drivers!) with those headache-inducing blue/white headlights, so I don't suppose they'll bother stopping Joe Genaro with his fog lights on when visibility is well over 100m, no matter how nicely you ask...
Mor on fog lights
Various other fog light solutions apply.
The cheapest and probably most effective, as found in several different cars I know, costs approximately nothing. You just design a combined headlight/foglight switch which has a little mechanical interlock so that when you switch off the headlights, the adjacent foglight switch also goes to its off position. A tiny piece of plastic does this. This design sorts the dimwits (sic) who don't actually know they've got foglights on, which is probably a good proportion of them. A variation on that theme, also already in use, powers the foglights via a relay which drops out when headlights go off and is only repowered when the "foglights on" button (non-latching) is pressed *while the headlights are on*. Quite why something like this isn't already a requirement in the Construction and Use regulations (?) is a bit of a mystery. Doesn't need much bandwidth either.
A more rewarding, more complex and technically more interesting (but actually still not very expensive) idea is to link the foglights to the engine management. If either front or rear foglights are on, the engine management limits engine revs to (say) 2000rpm and speed to (say) 25mph. Turning off the foglights removes the restriction. This has, as smarter readers will appreciate, a number of benefits. Imitation Clarksons will have the choice of *either* putting their foot down *or* having cool-looking foglights on. And when there really is legallly acceptable reason to put the foglights on (eg very poor visibility), speeds will be limited to match (or the dickheads without lights will have a not quite zero risk of getting done for driving too fast WITHOUT foglights :))... Just needs one extra input to the engine management computer, net cost maybe a pound or two. Again, Construction+Use regulations could be used to make sure it happens. (Is that worth patenting?)