Cross on the headlights - why do drivers leave it on the optics of a car
Tips for motorists

Cross on the headlights - why do drivers leave it on the optics of a car


It is known from films about the war that the window panes of houses during the hostilities were cruciformly sealed with paper strips. This kept the glass surfaces of the windows from falling out if they were cracked by close explosions of shells or bombs. But why do drivers sometimes do this?

Why used to glue crosses on car headlights

During the fast movement of racing cars along the track, the headlight, inadvertently broken by a stone that jumped out from under the car in front, could leave glass fragments on the roadway, fraught with serious trouble for the tires of racing cars. The tapes of electrical tape on the glass surfaces of the headlights just prevented the spillage of sharp fragments onto the track. Such tricks of racing drivers were especially relevant during ring racing, when cars passed the same sections of the track several times. In such a situation, the race car driver could damage his own tires on his own glass fragments.

Cross on the headlights - why do drivers leave it on the optics of a car
Race car drivers insured themselves against sharp fragments from broken headlights with electrical tape pasted on glass surfaces.

With the improvement of glass lenses on car lamps, the need to stick crosses of electrical tape on them rapidly decreased. Finally, it began to fade away in 2005, when the use of glass surfaces in headlights was prohibited. ABS plastic (polycarbonate), which replaced glass, was stronger than it and did not give such dangerous fragments. Currently, race car drivers have no reason to stick figures from electrical tape on their headlights.

What do cars with taped headlights mean now

Although the need to protect the roadway from broken headlights during auto racing is no longer relevant, on the roads of cities today it is not so rare to find cars carrying crosses, stripes, stars and other figures from electrical tape on their headlights. And now these tape configurations are painted in different colors, since the classic black electrical tape has been successfully enriched with various colors.

Cross on the headlights - why do drivers leave it on the optics of a car
Today, fans of duct tape on headlights have a wide choice of tape colors.

It is difficult to find a reasonable explanation for such an addiction of some motorists to mutilating their own cars. Perhaps this is the desire of individual drivers to stand out from the car crowd by any means by the cheapest and most accessible means. Or maybe someone thinks that the electrical tape on the headlights makes his car aggressive, again at minimal cost for such “tuning”.

I have seen more than once that crosses made of electrical tape or opaque tape are pasted on the headlights, and it was not clear to me why this was done. But when I asked an inveterate driver friend, he told me that these were show-offs.


It is problematic to say that behind gluing electrical tape on the headlights is the concern for their safety and cleanliness of the roadway. Such a version is easily refuted by the fact that opaque electrical tape of various colors is molded onto the head lights and never transparent tape, which would be more logical in such a situation.

Meanwhile, the deterioration in the conditions of the light flux emitted by car lamps with similar modifications, especially in its center, where strips of electrical tape cross, is not welcomed by the traffic police.

Firstly, clause 1.6 of GOST 8769–75 states that “the vehicle should not have any devices that cover lighting devices when it is moving ...”. And tape figures, though partially, but close them. And, secondly, part 1 of Art. 12.5 of the Code of Administrative Offenses threatens with a 500-ruble fine for driving a vehicle that has problems with admission to general operation. And with headlights decorated with electrical tape, such a permit cannot be issued in any case.

Cross on the headlights - why do drivers leave it on the optics of a car
Such “tuning in a couple of minutes” does not decorate either the car or its owner.

A measure that was once forced to prevent the unpleasant and dangerous consequences of the destruction of glass on the headlights during motor racing, today has turned for some motorists into a means of outrageous and self-affirmation by cheap and unsafe means. The attitude of traffic police officers to this is appropriate.

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