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Turning off street lights may have no effect on safety

10 August 2015

A new study recently published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Public Health and available on the GB Knowledge Centre suggests that switching off street lights at night has had no adverse effect on road casualties, public health or crime levels.

Many local authorities in England and Wales have reduced street lighting at night in a bid to save money and reduce carbon emissions.

The study, which is published on an ‘open access’ basis in the Journal of Epidemiology & Public Health, looks at the effect of four street lighting adaptation strategies - switch off, part-night lighting, dimming and white light - on casualties and crime in England and Wales.

The researchers analysed police data on road traffic collisions and crime in 62 local authorities during 2000–2013. They concluded ‘there was no evidence that any street lighting adaptation strategy was associated with a change in collisions at night’. They also found no evidence for an association between increased crime levels and switch off or part-night lighting, and weak evidence for a reduction in the aggregate count of crime associated with dimming and white light.  The full report can be downloaded from rom the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health here.

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