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Drivers seeing red over new turtle-safe lighting

SEEING RED: Community members have raised concerns about the turtle friendly red street lights at the new Rifle Range and Windermere Rds roundabout. Photo Contributed
SEEING RED: Community members have raised concerns about the turtle friendly red street lights at the new Rifle Range and Windermere Rds roundabout. Photo Contributed Contributed

TURTLE-FRIENDLY red street lighting at the new Rifle Range and Windermere Rds roundabout has sparked safety concerns with some motorists finding the red glow is causing visibility issues.

Resident Gerry Brookes regularly uses the roundabout and finds the lighting makes it hard to distinguish the edge of the road.

"The red glow from the lights on the road and the whole area, makes it hard to see," she said.

"With the brown dirt it makes it hard to distinguish what's the road and what's not."

Ms Brookes said she thinks its great idea to introduce initiatives which protect the turtles but believes people's safety needs to come first.

The lights, which meet Australian Standards for street lighting, are being trialled to determine how appropriate they would be for wider use in the coastal district.

A Bundaberg Regional Council spokesperson said the cost-effective lighting also decreaseed impact on marine turtles compared to standard street lighting.

"A number of regional Queensland areas attracting nesting turtles, and indeed areas throughout Australia and overseas, use this lighting," he said.

"The manufacturer advises that on the light spectrum these LED lights emit light centring around 610 nanometres. Other traditional forms of street lighting emit light across the spectrum from 380 to 780 nanometres.

"While low pressure sodium lighting has a life span of approximately three years, the red lighting comes with a manufacturer's guarantee of 10 years.

"One low pressure sodium light uses the same amount of energy required to power three LED lights."

But divisional representative Greg Barnes said the lack of consultation with the community and elected members regarding the trial was concerning and he believes more should have been more done to warn people before they were faced with both a new roundabout and lighting they were unlikely to have encountered before.

"It certainly caused a lot of negative feedback on social media," he said.

"I'm disappointed there were no consultation with the community and no prior discussion with elected members.

"It's a major difference with the new roundabout and the lights and I think it could have been handled better."

Anyone wishing to provide feedback on the lighting can phone 1300 883 699 or email ceo@bundaberg.qld.gov.au.

Topics:  lighting, roundabout, turtles



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