The report suggested that there had been a rise of 20% over four years with 324 more people killed or seriously injured in crashes at night where street lights were unlit in 2011 and 2012, compared to the previous two year period.
This was set against a background of ‘750,000 streetlights being turned off or dimmed to save money and reduce emissions’.
We contacted The Times who were more than happy to share their methodology:
Of course, the Times article was prompted by the decisions made by highway authorities in recent years to turn off or dim street lights and therefore the increase could be seen in this context, rather than the longer period that preceded 2009.
If this data was made available it would be relatively straightforward to analyse collision rates per mile at the different site types and come up with a more robust conclusion. Until this is carried out we feel that these results are simply speculation and cannot be regarded as a robust, although The Times should certainly be congratulated for tackling the subject and raising an important issue.