Street lights in Essex

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john.wheeldon
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Street lights in Essex

Post by john.wheeldon »

The Essex Chronicle bring more good news :

"Plans to switch off street lights in Essex could cause chaos on the county's roads if legal issues are not resolved.
The proposals to turn off street lights between midnight and 5am could lift speed limits on hundreds of residential roads and leave police powerless to act.
Under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 a 30mph speed limit applies in roads where street lights are placed no more than 200 yards apart. But if street lights are turned off, those restrictions may no longer apply and could mean hundreds of residential roads would have no enforceable speed limit."

Full story here:
Essex Chronicle
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Maccers
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Post by Maccers »

Light pollution issues aside, the Police are well within their rights to stop/arrest/caution/charge anyone who in their opinion is driving carelessly or recklessly. Driving up unlit residential streets at more then 30 mph strikes me as being pretty reckless.
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Vega
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Post by Vega »

I dont think they are going to increase the speed limit on the grounds of turned off street lights!
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krang2k
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Post by krang2k »

"Under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 a 30mph speed limit applies in roads where street lights are placed no more than 200 yards apart.
Look at the wording 'where lights are PLACED no more than 200yards' the Road Traffic act doesnt state that the lights have to be turned on!

Thats if the paper has quoted the law correctly anyway :?

davep
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Post by davep »

krang2k wrote:Look at the wording 'where lights are PLACED no more than 200yards' the Road Traffic act doesnt state that the lights have to be turned on!
Perhaps the author of that article should test the idea by driving up and down a suitable bit of road, at speeds that exceed the limit, during the day?

zx9rsteve
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Post by zx9rsteve »

Nice one for drawing attention to that - I have sent an email off to the editor requesting that the journalist apologises for her uninformed and alarmist reporting in this age of global warming and rising energy bills.

Perhaps I should have read entire article first - doesn't look like the journalists fault.

Ah well

davep
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Post by davep »

zx9rsteve wrote:Perhaps I should have read entire article first - doesn't look like the journalists fault.
But a moment's critical thinking on their part should have caused them to ask the obvious question.

Astrocomet
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Re: Street lights in Essex

Post by Astrocomet »

john.wheeldon wrote: Under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 a 30mph speed limit applies in roads where street lights are placed no more than 200 yards apart. But if street lights are turned off, those restrictions may no longer apply and could mean hundreds of residential roads would have no enforceable speed limit."
I personally would not worry about it John the way some of these cars speed along the roads enforceable speed restrictions don't count anymore, I don't think anything can be done about people using roads as racetracks-its a shame it puts innocent peoples lives at risk but when you try and tell them they just jeer at you and turn a blind eye, basically it just don't sink in and won't, stick to your back garden and watching the skies like I do its safer :roll: .
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beamer3.6m
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Post by beamer3.6m »

I think the paper has made the situation sound worse than it is.

During the day the Council does not have the lights on, deliberately, as they are not needed. However, during the day the speed limit is still in effect.

The fact that the lights are off would not in my legal opinion (having been lawyer for some time - which may count for nothing) affect the spped ofthe road.

The word in the act is 'placed' not lit. I consider that a judge would interpret the rules in the benefits of the public interest and would potentially impose a greater need on the requirement for speed restrictions due to the fact that the road is unlit.

I think this is a case of classic scare mongering by the press who know nothing about law, or much else for that, but decide to wide up the general populace just for the sake of a few column inches.
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JohnM
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Post by JohnM »

From what I can remember large numbers of street lights were turned off during the '3 Day Week' due to the Miners Strike - around 1976. There was no suggestion than that the speed limits did not apply.

Interestingly prior to 1976 the majority of car owners drove around in lit streets with only their 'sidelights' on. One of the results of the reduction in street lights was the increase of light pollution from cars ( 200 W per car directed only just below the horizontal) must be a significant contribution.

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