LIGHTS SWITCH OFF SEES ACCIDENT INJURIES FALL IN CAERPHILLY

11/04/2011

New figures have revealed that there has been a CUT in road accidents and injuries since Caerphilly council’s decision to switch off street lighting on inter-urban roads in the early hours.

There has not been a single accident and, therefore no individual has been injured, between midnight and 5.30am since the decision by the Plaid Cymru led council to switch off lights to save 898 tonnes of CO2 emissions.  It is also saving the authority almost £150,000 a year.

Plaid leaders revealed that just 17 members of the public had registered a complaint or inquiry about the policy in Wales’ 4th largest local authority.

Ron Davies, Plaid Cymru’s candidate for Caerphilly, said: “There were lots of scare stories from Labour councillors and the Assembly Member for Caerphilly over impact of the policy to switch off the lights when there are few vehicles on the road. But, as usual, with Labour they don’t let the facts spoil their letters and Press releases. They must be hugely embarrassed now – and should apologise to the public for their unnecessary scare tactics.

“A review carried out by the council has revealed clearly that accidents fell compared to the period before the decision was taken and no one had been injured in an accident when the lights were switched off. Carbon emissions have also been reduced considerably and money has been saved, which is great.”

Councillor Lindsay Whittle, council leader said: “Officers of the authority analysed data on injuries in road accidents and compared the numbers of collisions in 2009 and 2010.

“The amending of lighting times on inter-urban routes was risk assessed and led to investment in studs and appropriate markers to help road users travelling during the late night to early morning period.

“The data, so far, indicates that the lighting withdrawal has had no effect on the personal injury collisions occurring on the inter-urban road network. In fact, collisions under comparable circumstances have fallen from have fallen from 3 to 0.”
In addition, early indications are that Caerphilly County Borough will exceed the national set by the Welsh Government for the highway authority.

For 2009 the casualty figures for road traffic personal injury collisions across Wales showed a marked reduction as a result of casualty reduction measures. Within Caerphilly Borough there was a reduction of 48% of the most serious injuries (KSI) along Caerphilly roads, well in advance the 40% national target goal set for the end of 2010.

“Although the figures for 2010 have yet to be confirmed further reductions in the number of collisions occurring across the network are anticipated,” said Councillor Whittle.

He said the authority continued to invest in initiatives that educated and informed road users about the risks and fostered attitudes to make residents and road users safer.

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THE FACTS:

2009 - Data from 1/9/2009 to 31/12/2009
There were a total of 83 personal injury collisions ( day and night collisions) recorded for this quarter.  23 collisions are recorded as being in dark conditions, of which 17 occurred on roads in the urban settlement areas and 6 occurred along inter urban roads.

 Considering all collisions occurring in dark conditions, only 3 were during the period 12 midnight until 5.30 am and all occurred on inter urban roads.

2010 - Data from 1/9/2010 to 31/12/2010
There were a total of 77 personal injury collisions recorded (day and night collisions) for this quarter.  20 collisions are recorded as being in dark conditions of which 17 occurred on roads in the urban settlement areas and 3 occurred along inter urban roads.

Considering all collisions occurring in dark conditions, no personal injury collisions were recorded during the period 12 midnight until 5.30 am. In fact collisions under comparable circumstances have fallen from have fallen from 3 to 0.