Having dragged its heels while much of the rest of the world made high mounted brake lights compulsory, Japan's ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport has finally realised that the simple devices can reduce rear-end collisions and will demand fitment on domestic market cars and light trucks from March 2002.

Ironically, as was the case in other countries which eventually followed the U.S., which mandated them in the mid-1980s, high stoplights are now often fitted standard to Japanese-market cars anyway. The locals love gadgetry on their cars and, after all, it can require a separate assembly line process - and componentry - to leave 'high-stops' off models which are also exported to countries requiring them.

Japan is however reportedly going one better by requiring high-mount stoplights on commercial vehicles even though they're not yet required in North America or Europe.

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Global Automotive Legislation

Global Car Forecasts to 2005