- May 17, 2021
- open range
My BMW had an interesting feature. You could turn on the parking lights on one side only, the driver's side of course.
Any Euro spec car has it standart for decades. Left or right via the left stalk (same as indicator but with ignition off). I don't even remember a single car without it. Even my 1972 Beetle and my Notchback/Type 3 had this.
What we call parking lights is what European refer to as "city lights", where with enough ambient lighting from street lights in the city, one can drive with the markers on with the dash illuminated.
There's no such thing as Euro 'city lights'. Not within ECE legislation. There's a so-called 'parking light' (switchable either left or right), a so-called 'standing light' (both left and right, for standstill, no driving allowed with) and of course 'driving lights' (low beam and high beam).
You may happen to see cars driving at night with just 'parking lights' (what you called 'city lights') on in 1950s/60s French movies, but that's 50 to 70 years ago and I'm not even sure it has been legal at that time (may have been easier on the camera just because reduced dazzling). I've seen the same in American films.
Add dedicated daytime running lights (Halogen or LED) for some ten years and true adaptive headlighting (dazzle-free permanent highbeams) legal in EU for a few years (finally coming to the US), which includes shorter-range 'city light', but that's certainly not what we're talking about here.