HAMPTON ROADS, Va. – Brighter, more cost effective lights lining Hampton Roads roadways could be on hold.
The Commonwealth Transportation Board delayed Wednesday night’s vote on the Highway Light Replacement Energy Performance contract.
“It’s not worth a public health issue," John Maldon, who covers the Hampton Roads Region of the CTB, said. "No, not at all.”
The plan is to install the LED lights through interstates and highways throughout the Commonwealth, starting with Hampton Roads.
“The real benefit is the reduced energy that is necessary to power these lights and the bright illumination from them makes it clearer to see versus a yellowish tint," Secretary of Transportation Aubrey Layne said.
The delay comes after board member Scott Kasprowizc presented them with an American Medical Association study that found the lights could cause health problems.
The AMA report said some evidence supports a long term increase in the risk of cancers, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and obesity.
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Neither Secretary Layne or Maldon were not aware of potential problems.
"That should have been brought to our attention before the meeting and that’s why I took the action I did," the Secretary said.
Secretary Layne said VDOT will do research on potential hazards and the CTB will discuss it at their next meeting.
“It may be as simple as reducing the kelvin output of the lights and putting in more of the L-E-Ds’ at a lower kelvin. So that’s what they’re looking at," Layne explained.
He said they should have a report from VDOT by their next board meeting.