Are You Afflicted with DRLs?

As many of you know, "DRL" is not a disease but the daytime running lights that are installed on many cars, particularly General Motors vehicles. With this feature, the headlights turn on as soon as you start the engine. As a result, there's no way you can leave a star party without destroying the night vision of everyone who is still observing. Some people have had the DRLs de-activated by a knowledgeable mechanic. But in an article in Amateur Astronomy magazine, Tom Clark noted that you can temporarily de-activate the feature yourself by pulling the emergency brake one click. You can thus start the engine without the DRLs coming on, drive a short distance to get away from other observers, then release the emergency brake, without damaging the car. Have any of you tried this?

Published in the August 2002 issue of the NightTimes