CARDIFF, Wales, Dec. 19 (UPI) -- Two-thirds of British motorists say they oppose the government turning off highway lights after midnight, a car insurance expert says.
Gareth Kloet, head of car insurance at Confused.com, a price comparison service in Britain, said the Web site is petitioning the government's Highways Agency to reconsider its 2010 decision to turn off lights on some of the Britain's motorways and streets.
"Our research shows that drivers find driving in the dark a frightening experience and a reduction in motorway and street lighting exaggerates this," Kloet said in a statement. "The safety of road users should still remain top priority -- the government could even consider alternative measures such as energy saving light bulbs to help keep us safe on the roads this winter."
The survey of 2,000 British motorists, conducted by OnePoll for Confused.com, indicated 47 percent of drivers said they felt less confident when driving at night -- 20 percent said they were worried about getting tired, 31 percent said they feared not seeing others on the road and 60 percent said feared not seeing signs.
Kloet said research published in the Journal of Sleep Research, said these concerns are justified.
Driving in the dark for 3 hours can make drivers drive as badly as when drunk, with performance standards equating to a driver having 0.08 percent blood alcohol content -- the legal limit in Britain -- while 4.5 hours of "dark driving," increased these levels to 0.10 percent, Kloet said.