A local council in Wiltshire, England made the decision in 2011, coincidentally a year after the austerity-driven British coalition government came into power, to turn off the street lights on a road between midnight and 5:30am saving £300,000 ($465,000) annually. The same road also lacks a path for pedestrians.
While one councillor reportedly called this decision ‘foolhardy‘, their efforts alone were not enough to prevent the implementation of this austerity driven decision – a decision that would prove fatal for 31 year old, mother of five Cheryl Richards.
The Independent reports that she was ‘walking home along Wiltshire’s A361 at approximately 2am on 27 September last year when she was struck by an Audi A3 driven by 23-year-old Lee Sullivan’.
Cheryl died after suffering immense head trauma. While the driver did have alcohol in his system, the coroner ruled that Cheryl had been walking in the middle of the road ‘due to a lack of street lights‘, which made it impossible for the driver to miss her.
Independent councillor Ernie Clarke said ‘one death is one death too many’.