Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Street Light Cutbacks

BBC news reports that an increasing number of councils are looking at reducing street lighting in an attempt to balance their books.

Good news for their carbon footprint of course, but bad news for road safety. On the BBC TV news this morning, this point was rammed home for me by the street light in the first shot having a cycle route sign on it.

Crashes are extremely expensive, so any money councils may save on their leccy bills will need to be offset against increased costs elsewhere, if the expected negative impact on road safety materializes. I've posted before here  about the fiscal imperative to improve road safety (i.e. safer roads save the NHS and police money and increase the tax take). So here's an idea. Lower the speed limit by 10 MPH on unlit roads? But of course there's a ceasefire in the war on the motorist. If a few more people have to die so we can all save a few minutes on our car journeys, that's a price worth paying. Especially if the victims are those pesky pedestrians and cyclists.

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