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Old October 27th, 2006, 06:30 AM   #1
hkskyline
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Highway Lighting

Many large highways are not lit in rural areas. Experts say that keeps drivers on alert and vehicle lights are sufficient to drive safely during the night. Is that the case for your country's rural highways?

Highway safety advocates push for U.S. 280 changes
30 September 2006

HARPERSVILLE, Ala. (AP) - Highway deaths on U.S. 280 have given life to a safety drive led by a group called 280 Light of Life.

The group plans a candlelight vigil Sunday at 8 p.m. at North Shelby Baptist Church on U.S. 280 to call attention to at least 12 victims of fatal traffic crashes on a stretch of the highway east of Alabama 119 to Harpersville.

Organizer Angela Madison's daughter, Kayton, is among the victims. Kayton died in November 2002 in a wreck on Double Oak Mountain, about a mile from North Shelby Baptist.

The candles will stand for hope that no more lives will be lost on the highway, she said.

Madison and a group of neighbors, friends and co-workers at Wilsonville Elementary School formed the highway safety group.

"We aren't opposed to anything out there that will make that highway safer. Lighting would be nice, because it's so dark when you top the mountain; and, of course, we want the traffic lights at (Shelby County) 41 and 43," Madison said.

She said drivers also must take responsibility.

"We can't blame all of 280's problems on the Department of Transportation," she said. "We are responsible for each other out there. I know everyone is busy, but you cannot replace a life."

At Sunday's vigil, Madison will read a poem she wrote about the number of crosses along 280 depicting highway deaths.

In part it reads, "Open your eyes and look around at the weathered stakes upon the ground."
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Old October 27th, 2006, 01:00 PM   #2
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Near interchanges, and complex situations, lighting is a good thing. You can see those situations better and earlier than without lighting. So here in NL, all interchanges with other Motorways are lighted. But not on ordinary stretches of motorway in rural areas. That is also not necessary, it gives too much lighting pollution, and i must say; driving without lighting is better, on long straight roads.

In Belgium, all motorways are lit, because they have an overcapacity in their nuclear power stations.
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Old October 27th, 2006, 04:25 PM   #3
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When you say "rural highway" are you talking about a dual-carriage or just a 2 lane?
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Old October 27th, 2006, 06:17 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrJoe View Post
When you say "rural highway" are you talking about a dual-carriage or just a 2 lane?
It could be a 4-lane highway whereby both directions are separated by a median.
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Old October 27th, 2006, 08:02 PM   #5
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Malaysia's North-South Highway has stretches in between states and towns/interchanges that are not lit. The same goes for the Central North-South Link Expressway (ELITE to KL International Airport) there.
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Old October 27th, 2006, 09:16 PM   #6
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Probably due to Hong Kong's small size, every single road and highway is brightly lit.

Hypothetically speaking, you don't even need your headlights. Of course, obeying the law and having redundant safety precautions means you should always use your lights at night.
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Old October 27th, 2006, 10:27 PM   #7
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It would be impossible to light all rural 2 and 4 lane highways in Saskatchewan. There is something like 60 000 km of paved roads in this province. At all major intersections the highway is lighted. Good enough for us.The rest would be a waste of money!
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Old October 28th, 2006, 05:15 PM   #8
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The other problem with these highways is that there isn't necessarily a power source nearby for lights. I don't think it's necessary at all to have rural highways lit. At intersections, yes but elsewhere your headlights should be enough.
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Old October 29th, 2006, 06:22 PM   #9
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Lighting all large Highways also in rural regions would be a waste of energy in monstrous proportions.

Ok it would probably improve safety a bit. But there are other constuctive measures you can take to improve safety that would cost much less and will be more effective. Like making sure the surface of the roads is in good condition, with good markings. Improving the line of sight in critical areas. Seperate the directions in dangerous curves. Etc...
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Old October 30th, 2006, 12:15 AM   #10
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Ive driven many miles on pitch black Australian roads - Those reflective 'cats eyes' are sufficient.
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Old October 30th, 2006, 02:43 AM   #11
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The main problem is dirver driving too fast in good or bad condition.
If you drive near the speed limit, your headlight is enough to guide you thru the road. However, when people are driving too fast, vehicle headlight won't give you enough sight distance in the dark to response.

In Connecticut, Rt15 is a four lanes expressway, posted speed limit 55mph For the most part, there is no street light except at major interchanges. At night, it is pitch black on the road. But, a lot of drivers go 80-90 mph. The road isn't designed for such high speed as it was built decades and decades ago and there is limitations in improving an old road.
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Old October 30th, 2006, 06:53 AM   #12
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Cat eyes are fairly rare in North America. However, they're limited to lane delineation, and does little help in improving the range of sight.
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Old October 31st, 2006, 07:09 AM   #13
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If you really want to make highways safe at night there is a easy solution. Ban night driving. Problem Solved. If not accidents will happen no matter how much lighting there is.
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Old October 31st, 2006, 02:26 PM   #14
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So the highways get's more overcrowded at daylight? And what about trucktraffic and distribution? They have to drive at night to supply distribution centers and shops.
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Old October 31st, 2006, 11:05 PM   #15
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all the US needs is a actual drivers license.. not some paper that comes with the cornflakes.. improved driving skills will do alot more..
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Old November 1st, 2006, 12:41 AM   #16
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Do some jurisdictions have restrictions on truck travel during the day time? I'd rather have the huge trucks confined to the night time and not get in the way of civilian rush hour.
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Old November 1st, 2006, 02:07 AM   #17
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^ No way that would work. In a place like the GTA trucks mean business, if they aren't allowed on the road business would stop.
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Old November 1st, 2006, 02:16 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
Do some jurisdictions have restrictions on truck travel during the day time? I'd rather have the huge trucks confined to the night time and not get in the way of civilian rush hour.
Oh, I wish!
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Old November 1st, 2006, 02:53 PM   #19
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Roads are ment for transportation. How do you buy your food, clothes, electronics, camera for highrise-photography etc, without trucks? Distribution works already 24/7.
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Old November 2nd, 2006, 05:12 AM   #20
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In Luxembourg, all major Highways are lit by a dull, yellowish Light. When I compare that with non-lit Highways elsewhere, I can say that this is a good solution.
Especially after a long drive, the soft illumination is very relaxing to the eyes, because you don't have to constantly stare in the bright spot of your car lights anymore.
So in conclusion, Vision and concentration are much better on illuminated Highways, which has of course an impact on safety.

(IMHO like everything, of course)
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