Thomas Bridge 29 July 2015

Switching off street lights does not increase car crashes, says study

Switching off street lights does not increase car crashes, says study image

Councils can turn off street lights without triggering an increase in car crashes or local crime, analysis suggests.

While motorists have voiced concern about the safety implications of local authorities dimming or switching off street lighting in a bid to save funds, research published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health has indicated there is no link between darkened streets and increased night time road casualties or crime.

Researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in partnership with University College London gathered data on 62 local authorities in England and Wales over the past 14 years.

Lead investigator, Dr Phil Edwards, said town halls would still be able to reduce street lighting levels ‘without and increase in car crashes and crime’ as long as risks were ‘carefully assessed’.

However AA president Edmund King said he was ‘extremely surprised’ by the results.

He highlighted that coroners had concluded the switching off of street lights had been a contributory factor in six road deaths between 2009 and 2013.

Department for Transport statistics indicate that while there has been an 18.6% fall in accidents in the dark on built up roads with street lights over the past five years, the reduction falls to 12% where street lights are off or not present.

King said: ‘Drivers cannot afford the risk of not lighting the road ahead if it might result in killing or injuring pedestrians, cyclists and other vulnerable people.

‘Although part-night lighting on 30mph roads has yet to show a problem in road casualties, it is the 40mph 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.’

Highways jobs

Air Quality Monitoring Project Manager

Birmingham City Council
£34,788 - £42,683
Seeking a skilled and dedicated individual with a background in environmental protection and air quality to... Birmingham, West Midlands
Recuriter: Birmingham City Council

Environmental Health Officer

Camden London Borough Council
Competitive Salary
The ideal candidate will have a detailed knowledge /understanding of the Housing Act 2004, and other legislation that... Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Corporate Director Business & Environmental Services

North Yorkshire County Council
circa £137k plus relation support      
Looking to appoint to the pivotal position of Corporate Director who will lead our Business and... North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Communications Manager - (North London Waste Authority)

Camden London Borough Council
£40,829 - £47,360 Dependent on experience
Exciting opportunity available for a Communications Manager to manage our North London Heat and Power Project (NLHPP) communications. Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Senior Solicitor, Regulatory and Enforcement

North West Leicestershire District Council
Band G, £33,799 - £37,849
Our friendly, entrepreneurial and Lexcel accredited Legal Services Team is looking for a Senior Solicitor with a litigation specialism Coalville, Leicestershire
Recuriter: North West Leicestershire District Council

Local Government News

Latest issue - Local Goverrnemnt News

This issue of Local Government News explores how councils can tackle modern slavery and trafficking in their supply chains, finds out more about Cambridge's first cohousing scheme and the launch of a new project to build a shared service pattern library for local government.

This issue also contains a special focus on children's services and how councils are protecting children following local safeguarding children boards being abolished.

Register for your free magazine