The AA has said that turning off streetlights has contributed to six deaths in the last 5 years. Five pedestrians and one cyclist have been killed on unlit roads. Accident investigators said there was little to no chance of drivers avoiding these collisions on unlit streets For years. road safety campaigners have warned of the dangers that occur from turning off street lights. A survey revealed that one-third of councils have switched off street lights and half dim their bulbs in an attempt to save money and power.
A local government spokesperson said: “Councils always consider the safety implications before turning off street lights, monitor subsequent safety statistics and act if presented with evidence of a public safety risk.”
President of AA, Edmund King, said: “There is growing evidence that cost savings from councils turning off street lights are being paid for with lives. Inquests point to a particular danger on roads with speed limits of 40 mph or higher. For that reason, drivers have no choice but to slow down and switch to full beam on faster town roads where late-night street lighting used to make roads and streets safer places to travel. Many of these inquests clear the drivers of blame, which means these tragic deaths are accidents waiting to happen. With many more councils switching off their street lights for at least part of the night, the tragedy will just get worse. At what point will the Government take action or help councils to finance the switch to energy-saving street lights.”