RTCs at pedestrian crossings were examined using the clock-change approach to isolate the effect of ambient light. The analysis confirmed expectation of an Increased risk of pedestrian RTC at crossings after-dark compared to daylight.
The analysis also compared RTCs at pedestrian crossings versus non-crossings. This revealed that the risk of pedestrian RTC after-dark is greater at crossings than at other locations. One explanation for this is that pedestrians are over-confident of been seen when using a crossing.
While statistical analyses of RTC records have shown that road lighting reduces the frequency of collisions after dark, this does not mean that lighting can be expected to prevent specific collisions. There are cases where the absence or insufficiency of lighting is unlikely to be a causal factor. It is important to recognise this because it may help prevent local authority funding being incorrectly spent. This article focuses on one specific RTC where fatigue and walking back to the vehicle were more likely to have been causal factors than the coroners’ proposal that “if there had been lights in this area .. the collision would not have occurred”.