The AA has laid the responsibility for six recent road deaths at the feet of switch-off schemes _ those designed by local councils to save money through switching off street lights in certain areas _ accusing them of raising hazard levels. At least five pedestrians and one cyclist have been killed since the scheme was introduced in 2009, with accident investigators at the inquests noting that drivers had little to no chance of avoiding a collision on blacked-out roads, especially where speed limits were 40mph or higher. For cars travelling at 40mph, the Highway Code notes a typical stopping distance of 36 metres _ 12 to react and 24 to brake.æ At 40mph, a standard car covers 59 feet per second. Edmund King, the AA's president, said: 'There is growing evidence that cost-savings from councils turning off street lights are being paid for with lives. In particular, inquests point to a particular danger on roads with speed limits of 40mph or higher,î 'Many of these inquests clear the drivers of blame, which means these tragic deaths are accidents waiting to happen. For that reason, drivers have no choice but to slow down and switch to full beam on faster town roads where late night street lighting used to make roads and streets safer places to travel. Previously, they may have preferred to drive on dipped beams to disturb residents less. 'With many more councils switching off their street lights for at least part of the night, the street-light blackout tragedy will just get worse. AA research shows that 12% of drivers (24% for 18-24 year olds) set off to or return from work in the small hours. 'At what point will the government take action or help councils to finance the switch to energy-saving street lights: 10, 15, 20 inquests later? Until then, the AA is advising its members to use full beam where councils have imposed a blackout, even in residential areas, except where they may dazzle other drivers, riders and pedestrians.î