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Why don't highways have street lights?

August 25, 2023

Given how important road illumination is for nighttime driving, why are city streets lighted yet highways are not? Highways are rarely illuminated, with the exception of major bridge decks and tunnels.



1. Financial considerations

If one street light is installed for every 50 meters of metropolitan road, the cost of construction, usage, and maintenance would be expensive. Furthermore, expressway traffic flow differs from that of cities, and many areas are frequently in a state of sparse traffic flow and are located far from bustling urban centers. Long-term illumination will also result in severe resource depletion. The road also crosses states and provinces, and handling the segmented electricity supply is another difficult issue.



2. The effect on safety
If streetlights are installed on expressways, the lighting impact of one light and one dark light would impede drivers' driving and produce optical fatigue. Furthermore, because the entire road is illuminated, drivers would unconsciously become less aware, which is not conducive to driving with sustained focus.
Furthermore, cars permitted on highways have their own lighting, which is sufficient to assist drivers in viewing their surroundings. Second, because the lighting influence of street lights varies, it is very easy for the visual error of alternating light and dark to cause visual fatigue when driving. Installing street lighting on expressways will help to conceal unseen safety hazards.


3. A reflective system for safety
On the highway, there are perfect systems for reflecting markings, such as hot-melt reflective marking lines (lane lines, etc.), film reflective contour markings (guardrails, isolation belts, etc.), luminous nails, and so on. These systems may display the lane indicator line, traffic signs, roadside contour, lane dividing line, and central separation belt contour. As a result, throughout the night, these reflecting systems activate and begin providing real-time direction as soon as the driver activates his headlights.

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