September 1 last year the government of The Netherlands introduced the measure to turn off the lights at night for a large part of the highways. By turning off the lights, Rijkswaterstaat wants to save 35 million euros until 2020.
Costs and savings
After a couple of months, it appears that this measure saves 600.000 euros annual, but there are also some negative consequences. One of them: the costs of manually turn on the lights are at least 2 million euros annual.
Half of the streetlights along the highways can’t be controlled from a central place. When road work takes place or when major accidents have happened, contractors have to turn on the lights manually. This means that a contractor has to go to a location along the highway and has to look up, switch and convert some buttons.
Rijkswaterstaat is now busy connecting the lights on traffic exchanges so that the lights can be controlled from a central place. Costs of this measure are also 800.000 euros.
There has been a lot of criticism about turning off the lights because of the safety at the highways. Later it appeared that the risk of accidents is larger than Rijkswaterstaat had expected. The government then decided to turn off the lights at 11.00pm instead of 09.00pm.
The question is: is connecting the lights on a traffic exchange sufficient? Isn’t it better that lights can be turned on and off depending the situation? That lights turn on or scale when it’s dark or foggy at a rainy day, that lights dim when the traffic intensity is low or that it is possible to scale a group of lights at a targeted location in case of an accident?
Do you want to learn more about intelligent street lighting and the many options it provides?
It would be a pleasure for us to inform you in a free consultation about the options which fits best with your personal situation.