Warning! Ranting Below
I have just returned from Germany where I lived for 3 years and I never saw anyone turn off their headlights at a stop light. Nor did I observe that in Italy or the Netherlands. I lived in South Korea for one year and dimming your lights at a stop light is common or expected.
Germany definitely has some peculiarities concerning use of auto lighting though. For instance, it has to be extremely poor weather for most people to use their headlights in the daytime. Much more than your average cloudy day where in the states people use their headlights frequently, not that there is anything wrong with that. I think this comes from the Germans general attitudes of conservation and high proficiency behind the wheel. Why use them if you don't need them and "I'm paying attention to my driving" so again, they are not needed. I got the sense that the Germans definitely don't like it when you drive around with your headlights on. The only cars I noticed with DRL's were all U.S. registered cars. I'm sure some Germans have them though. I would say that when I saw someone driving with their fog-lights on while it was not foggy 98% of the time it was an American, 1% where probably forgetful Germans and the other 1% were the coffee can exhaust wide wheel crowd.
There is no way you could start a fad in the U.S. for courtesy regarding lighting or anything else. Most people who have fog-lights on their cars have them on constantly, even in the daytime if they have their headlights on. I see people driving E46's with their fog-lights on all the time and, as you know, that requires an activation each time unlike some manufacturers that make them so they come on with the headlights if you have the switch on. In the 3000 miles of driving I've done since I've been back in the U.S. it's been extremely frustrating. How can we be the greatest country in the history of the world, and we are, and have so many ignorant and stupid people driving cars and enormous SUVs? It's really sickening. I was pretty ignorant before I lived overseas though I must admit. I used to drive too fast and make passes on the right out of frustration. It's just not worth it to me now. Keep right M.F.er! Another annoying thing in the states is red light creeping. People are constantly moving forward one foot, then 6 inches, then one foot while the light is red. Is it impatience or what? Then, when the light turns green they pause before they go………..??? WTF, if you were so hot to go then go DAMNIT. Also, don't block the crosswalk and quit turning left in front of me.........aaarrrrrgggggghhhhhhhhhhhhh!
Uuuuhhhhh………..time for a beer.