Motorway blackout proposals lead to road safety concerns

11.07 | 6 August 2010 |

Proposals to switch off motorway lights between 12 – 5am have ignited concerns among road safety professionals (Telegraph).

The money and carbon saving initiative comes after the DfT has been earmarked for some of Whitehall’s biggest cuts.

Proposals to turn off motorway lights at times of ‘low usage’ was one of the first policies to emerge after the coalition asked the public to put forward ideas for the new government. The idea was described by the DfT as one of the ‘constructive ideas’ which it received from voters.

But road safety organisations warn that the move could put safety at risk, given what happened when a similar initiative was introduced on local streets across the country.

A spokesman for RoSPA said: “Fatigue is a massive problem among drivers who are on the road between midnight and 5am.

“Street lighting does reduce accidents and this policy will have to be implemented with great care. We hope any scheme like this is monitored properly, and if there are any problems the authorities will be brave enough to do a u-turn.”

Kevin Delaney, head of road safety at the IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists), added: “It’s a lot less stressful to drive when the road ahead of you is lit.

"Modern headlamps are very good, but they do not shine far enough ahead to enable you to stop in time for an unexpected obstacle when travelling at motorway speeds: at 70mph the stopping distance is 315ft.

"Motorway lamp posts are very high off the ground – bringing them closer to the road and using more modern lighting technology will help save energy and reduce light pollution.”

For more information see the full Telegraph report.


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