Australia’s Turtle-friendly Red Streetlight Causes Visibility Issues

New turtle-friendly red streetlight at Rifle Range and Windermere Rds roundabout has causes safety concern as the red light lowers visibility, according to a report from News Mail.

The red streetlight is a part of Australia authority’s attempt to decrease the impact of standard street light on the marine turtles. A number of regional Queensland areas attracting nesting turtles use this lighting, said a Bundaberg Regional Council spokesperson.

These streetlights meet Australian Standards for streetlight, and are being trialed under manufacturer’s advises, 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.”

He also said LED streetlight’s life span is more than three times of low pressure sodium lighting and LED streetlight is also roughly three times power conservative than the latter.

"Theoretically perfect" turtle-friendly red streetlight has causes disturbance to the community at Rifle Range and Windermere Rds roundabout. (Photograph courtesy of News Mail)


Despite the effort of the authority to launch power saving and eco-friendly LED streetlight, resident Gerry Brookes says the lighting makes it hard to see the road clearly. "With the brown dirt it makes it hard to distinguish what's the road and what's not."

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

Divisional representative Greg Barnes said more should have been done prior to the red streetlight installation such as consulting with the community and electing trial members, for example, to warn people with the new lighting they were unlikely to have encountered before.

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