Tuesday, November 11, 2008


My car doesn’t have the multimillion pound technology that enables the pilot of a fighter jet to see its target many miles away in pitch darkness. Neither, I’d hazard a guess, do white vans and many other vehicles on my daily journey to work in the dark. Furthermore, not being a Super Hero, I don’t have X-Ray vision, (or the ability to pat my head and stroke my stomach in clockwise circles simultaneously.)

I’d always thought that street lights were a remarkably sensible invention as they would (surprisingly) illuminate the streets when it’s dark. Regrettably my local council differs. They need to save money (no doubt the “fact-finding” tours to exotic Caribbean islands are a much higher priority). Of course switching off the lights isn’t publicised as a way of containing their budget, it’s proclaimed as a “Green Initiative” by the expensively hired marketing consultants.

Consequently pedestrians and unlit cyclists manage to disappear in the gloom and deep shadows of the early morning, when most sensible people are still in bed.

The great thing about headlights on cars is that the cost of switching them on is almost negligible, unlike domestic electricity bills which often equal the size of a City banker’s annual bonus. They enable me to see the cyclists and pedestrians before I run them over and upset my boss by being late arriving at work.

So, can someone explain to me why it’s apparently cool to drive with only sidelights on in the pitch dark?

Put Your Lights On!

1 comment:

Flibbertigibbet said...

Oh my god! I totally agree, I have taken to randomly beeping my horn at idiots that don't have their lights on or are driving with just sidelights, in the misguided mind that this makes them visible.

The other night I nearly took out a cyclist, dressed head to toe in black with long black hair. No lights at all. I suddently noticed the amber reflector on the rear of a pedal. I really dread to think what could have happened.