Street lights are a must for all of us travelling at night, whether we are drivers or pedestrians. Well what you may not know is that several councils in the UK operate a ‘blackout’ system during the wee small hours. This is a way to save electricity costs, keeping to the council’s budget.
But this hasn’t gone unnoticed by motoring groups, one has claimed that these few hours of darkness on UK streets are actually detrimental to road safety. The lack of street lighting is actually contributing to an increase in accidents!
The AA has discovered the change in Government figures, these show improved road safety over the past five years. Accidents in hours of darkness in the more urban areas have fallen 18.6% overall, and 24% in the wet, snow and ice. This is where there is plenty of street lighting.
However, the statistics looked a little different in places where there were no street lights at all or the lights were turned off. The total reduction was around 12% overall and 16.7% in bad weather. Could there be a link with the street lighting?
The AA also said that the situation seemed to be worse on the busier of roads. From 2008, night-time accidents on roads with lighting at around 40mph parts have fallen 24.1%, that was 30.4% in the more adverse weather conditions. Both road accident rates were only down by 10.4% when there were no street lights present.
The Automobile Association claimed that the worst councils for street lighting in this year’s National Highways and Transport Network public satisfaction survey all switched off their lights in the very early morning hours.
So far it is Essex County Council that comes at last place on a list of 78 councils, it scored just 45.1%. Hertfordshire County Council was next at 51.7%, then South Gloucestershire which scored 56.5%, Buckinghamshire County Council 58%, and Suffolk County Council scoring 58.7%.
At the other end of the scale was Blackpool, this seaside resort is already known for it’s illuminations, well they may have come up with the perfect solution to this dilemma. It’s use of energy-saving LED street lights seems to have gotten the vote from most of the towns inhabitants! These eco-friendly and power saving lights were installed via a Community Lighting Partnership, as a result Blackpool scored 75.8% in the customer satisfaction survey!
Street lights are a big part of our roads, although there are naturally less people out and about at 3 am than there are at 3pm, it’s important that people are able to see and judge the road ahead. Although we at Want Driving Lessons agree with saving costs and the environment, however, LED lights could very well be the answer! They naturally use up less power and will last longer on a little amount of electricity.
Preventing accidents it’s an important part of any association in charge of making changes on the roads. So although blackouts are currently in operation, there is no doubt that adequate street lighting is essential for everyone. We might soon be seeing the introduction of more economical means of lighting up our path and roadways in years to come!