More local authorities are switching off street lights in order to save money and cut energy consumption, claims the AA.
The AA said the policy will lead to more crashes and crime.“Turning off street lights to save money or reduce CO2 may backfire in terms of increased accidents and crime. In the dark drivers’ reactions tend to be slower and stopping distances longer.
"Street lighting can reduce the risk of crashes and their severity,” said AA president, Edmund King.
“Local authorities should consider more environmentally friendly lighting rather than putting us all in the dark.”
However, local councils said they were working to safeguard the public while cutting emissions and costs.
“Street lighting costs the council tax payer hundreds of millions of pounds a year.
"Councils want to provide value for money to local people and it is right that they look at ways of lighting the streets that are less expensive,” said Paul Bettison, chairman of the Local Government Association Environment Board.
“The safety of the streets and local people must be at the heart of everything a council does.
"Any new street lighting system must balance the need to help the environment with the need to keep road users safe.
“Councils are on the frontline in the fight against climate change, and have a responsibility to cut carbon emissions which are contributing to global warming.
"Using greener street lighting helps to significantly cut Co2 emissions."