AA highlights street lighting switch off risks

AA highlights street lighting switch off risks

A new study published by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine has claimed the dangers of switching off street lighting in terms of UK road safety is minimal, but this conclusion is being challenged by the AA.

The motoring organisation has cited evidence from the Department for Transport, as well as its own analysis, that shows that a number of coroners' reports into road fatalities in recent years have been attributed to a lack of sufficient lighting on roads.

In total, the AA highlighted six cases between 2009 and 2013 where this was the coroner's conclusion, counteracting this latest report from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine that claims lower levels of street lighting are not a problem.

AA president Edmund King argued: "Although part-night lighting on 30 mph roads has yet to show a problem in road casualties, it is the 40 mph and faster roads that are the problem.

"Crash experts say there just isn't enough time to react, even when driving at the speed limit with the headlights on."

He added that it is for this reason that street lighting on carriageways with a higher speed limit should not be turned off.

The arguments for turning off street lighting in many areas boil down to local authorities aiming to both boost their green credentials through lower energy usage and a need to save money, and while both these factors are important, they should not be placed as a higher priority than protecting the lives of innocent road users and members of the public.

Mr King concluded that motorists should make full use of their high beams when travelling on unlit stretches of carriageway, as they should not run the risk of failing to see as far ahead of them as possible.

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