With many local authorities considering reducing, or switching off street lights at night, road safety experts suggest that the risk for pedestrians of an accident could treble.
After comparisons were made between well lit and poorly lit areas it was found that where lighting was poor or inadequate that it seriously compromised road safety with drivers having difficulty seeing pedestrians or cyclists in the dark.
The report said that there was a high involvement rate of cyclists and pedestrians in these areas with limited lighting, so much so that rather than turning lights off, street lighting should in fact become compulsory and this was highlighted because there was a low frequency of vehicle-only accidents in those areas.
The clocks going back brings a four-fold increase in the week after the change as road users in general take up to a week to adapt to the new lighting conditions and adapt their behaviour accordingly and as around 62% of motorists regularly drive in the dark, it highlights that there is a real risk for us all, no matter if we are on foot, pedalling away, or cosy in our cars.
It’s a strange world, when we have The Highways Agency already admitting that there could be an increase in the number of accidents as a result of switching off street lighting, yet condoning councils who across the country who intend to do so to save money.
Alternatives could be turning every other light off, or perhaps dimming street lighting or fitting low energy lights, but even then, you have to ask yourself where we’ve got to as a nation, when something so basic and as obviously important as street lighting is having the plug pulled. It’s pretty much universally accepted that it will lead to more accidents and the possibility of ruining or perhaps even ending people’s lives and I wonder how any of us will feel, if one of our loved ones is involved in an accident as a result of it. This can’t be the right thing to do surely?