Is this the end of the road for cats eyes?
Cats eyes are set to be replaced on Britain’s roads by new solar powered LED lights.
Long-standing traffic legislation is set to be rewritten to pave the way for the new ‘active studs’, which can shine for up to 10 days with just four hours of charge.
The LEDs can be seen from as far away as 1,000 yards, which is ten times further than the traditional reflective studs, and are seen as a much better alternative for drivers motoring in bad weather.
Strict road laws have prevented any change to the safety devices ever since they were first introduced in the 1930s.
The rules have stated that ‘reflective road studs’ must be used – a legislation that has long impaired the development of any new schemes, with many critics saying the old cats eyes are ‘outdated’.
However, ministers have now conceded that they are open to altering the law, paving the way for the use of the LED lights.
Westminster consultations papers read: ‘We propose amending the regulation to accommodate this technology.
‘Active studs use internal light emitting diodes as their light source, giving extended visibility distances and better performance in poor weather conditions over traditional studs.’
Yorkshireman Percy Shaw invented cats eyes 80 years ago, taking inspiration from the reflection of his car’s own lights in the eyes of his pet.
They are used on roads and motorways across the country, and are a vital tool for motorists when driving at night, marking the path ahead by reflecting the light shined on them by the headlights of oncoming vehicles.
Graham Muspratt is product manager at Astucia, the solar firm behind the LED lights.
He told The Telegraph: ‘It is much less stressful driving when the road studs are used because drivers can see further ahead.
‘They have also been proven to improve road discipline.’