November 5, 2010

Now, as Dr Spooner would have said, that the cocks have gone black, only nightshift workers get to drive home in daylight. The perfect moment, then, for councils up and down the land to contemplate switching off the streetlights on our… streets.

But a shocking new report has revealed that people tend to drive into things more often where, as Mr Bono Vox might have bellowed artlessly, the streets have no lights. Things, for example, like unlit lampposts, cyclists and pedestrians.

Canceller George Osborne has always acknowledged that the current round of spending cuts, whilst good for rebuilding the ratings agencies’ confidence in the UK economy, may hurt a bit. Motor vehicles may now play a part in dishing out that hurt on cash-strapped Britain’s stygian streets.

Councils mulling over their disilluminative cost-cutting options may like to peruse a study published by road safety expert Dr Nick Kickass (in association with Autoglass). This claims that pedestrians are three times less likely to be struck by vehicles on streetlit streets in constrast to similar streets whose streetlighting is missing.

The first week after putting the clocks back is the most dangerous of the year, as it takes road users a while to adjust their “drivetime” behaviour and stop hitting things in the unaccustomed gloom.

Autoglass MD Matthew Mycock (with whose name we swear Bankstone News has in no way tampered) comments: “The Highways Agency has already admitted there could be an increase in accident rates as a result of turning off the road lighting. There are also fears that more roads will see black-outs as councils across the country try to save money.

Maybe shorter working days would help.


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