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Homepage. This page: An optional brake light accessory for cars, dating to the mid-1960s.

"Brake Safe" auxiliary brake warning system.

Does anyone remember these, the "Brake Safe" auxiliary car brake lights? In principle the idea behind them appears sound enough, but they don't appear to have taken off commercially - I've never seen a car fitted with them. The design required the fitment of two triangular, illuminated, warning lamps to be fitted to the rear of the car, with power to the lamps usually being triggered by the driver backing off on the accelerator pedal, giving advanced warning to following road users that the driver was either backing off, and/or preparing to brake. This would give valuable extra time for following motorists to begin slowing down themselves, before receiving the usual warning via the leading car's brake lights illuminating. A simple idea, and surprisingly one that never took off in mainstream car design. I'm sure that the "Brake Safe", produced by Lincoln Plastics Ltd, wasn't the first such accessory to offer this facility, but I've yet to stumble across another advertisement for such a gadget in a motoring magazine.
Brake Safe car warning lamps
The advertisement I found dates to 1966. Given how motorways were still a relatively new fad for the British motorist at that time, anything designed with improving road safety and accident avoidance, especially given the higher speeds attained on a motorway journey, would have been very welcome. The illustration in the advert shows the two brake lamps fitted to a car's numberplate, at either end. As this would have required a very short registration number, no doubt most installations would have seen the triangular lamps screwed to a car's bootlid. Did many kits sell, and were they even legal? Maybe a few preserved classic cars still have them? The benefits of the system are given as follows:
No car is fully equipped without the new 1967 BRAKE SAFE. These triangular warning lamps illuminate automatically before you can brake, enabling following drivers to stop as soon as you can, avoiding collision. They can flash on and off continuously in an emergency stop, or in foggy weather, reducing the danger of pile-ups. Brake Safe will protect you and your passengers, saving countless lives on the road. Every car needs Brake Safe."
I wonder what car registration "1 EBE" belonged to (assuming it was a legit number)? This Lincolnshire number doesn't show as being registered any more.
Whether this car accessory remained on the market for long, I've not been able to establish (maybe a version of it is still available in some markets?). It seems like a reasonable idea, although it would need checking regularly to ensure that it was operating at the right moments, and not illuminating at every slight downward change in road speed, which could well become very annoying for anyone following behind.
More handy car accessories designed for motorists of yesteryear may be found via the main gadgets section of Old Classic Car.

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