AA critical over Harlow street lights blackout
Politics / Fri 5th Dec 2014 at 10:05am
HARLOW’S streetlight blackout has been criticised by the AA who have highlighted the dangers of driving on unlit roads.
Essex County council has come bottom of a league of 78 councils for street lighting and the motoring organisation has called for lights to be switched back on.
The AA said Government figures showed that over the past five years, improved road safety has seen accidents in hours of darkness on built-up roads where there is street lighting fall 18.6 per cent overall, and 24 per cent in the wet, snow and ice.
But where there were no street lights, the reduction was 12 per cent overall and 16.7 per cent in bad weather.
Blackpool, with its fitting of energy-saving LED street lights which are similar to those in Southend, topped the street-light satisfaction league with a score of 75.8 per cent.
AA president Edmund King said: “New official road safety statistics show that accident rates on blacked-out town and city roads are not getting better. In fact, on 40mph roads, they are getting much worse – particularly in bad weather.
“This is the type of road where most of the fatalities, for which coroners blamed street-light switch-offs as a contributory factor, happened.”
He went on: “We would ask that, as a priority, the lights go back on along 40mph or faster roads in built-up areas.”
“Crash investigators in inquests have consistently stated that drivers who keep to the speed limit on those roads have little or no chance of missing pedestrians that suddenly appear out of the dark.”
A Department for Transport spokesman said: ” The department provides advice to local authorities on factors they need to consider in managing street lighting, but they are best placed to decide exactly where it is needed.