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Dark M65 'poses night vision worry'
9:00pm Wednesday 26th February 2014 in East Lancashire
A ROAD safety charity has said reduced lighting on the M65 is a ‘definite safety concern’ for drivers with impaired night vision.
It comes after the lights at the side of the M65 were permanently switched off by the Highways Agency between junctions seven and 10 in 2011 to reduce carbon emissions.
It has also been revealed that Lancashire County Council, which is responsible for the road between junctions 10 and 14, plans to remove dozens of lighting columns.
Blackburn HGV driver Nazim Momoniat, said drivers could become disorientated as they changed from lit to darker parts of the road.
The 46-year-old said: “It is a concern on the M65 because there are so many junctions. It is light then dark, light then dark and it can be quite disorientating.
“It could be that some people cannot see very will in the reduced light, which they do not during the day.”
Ed Morrow, campaigns officer at road safety charity Brake, said: “While reduced lighting on the motorway is a definite safety concern, drivers also need to ensure their vision is up to scratch.
“We urge any drivers who have impaired night vision not to drive at night, and all drivers to get their eyes tested at least every two years and always wear glasses or lenses if they need them.”
A spokeswoman for the Royal National Institute for the blind urged drivers to have their eyesight tests every two years.
The Lancashire Telegraph launched the Turn The Lights On campaign following the death of Burnley-born Mark Burgess, who was killed when he crashed near junction eight.
An inquest found the 39-year-old was two-and-a-half times over the legal drink-drive limit and his accident would not have been prevented had there been lights.
But a coroner has since said he will write to the Highways Agency urging them to rethink their policy after drivers caught up in the aftermath of the crash said they might have been able to avoid the debris in the road, had there been lights.