Orem citizens petition to improve night safety, reduce light pollution

Oct 18, 2023, 2:36 PM | Updated: Oct 23, 2023, 12:27 pm

OREM, Utah — Some Orem residents have signed a petition to reduce light pollution and promote safer night driving. Here’s why.

Along Orem’s busiest streets, bright advertisements can be found at nearly every corner. Those signing the petition say these advertisements can impair vision for nighttime drivers. 

At an Orem City Council meeting a few weeks ago, RoMay Allen, the Orem citizen who started the petition, explained her concerns.

“There’s at least four that I’m aware of that make it really difficult to see at night,” Allen said. “I’ve come across people walking on the sidewalk or walking on the street and crossing, and the lights are so bright it’s very difficult to see pedestrians.”

What the current laws allow

Currently, the Orem City code says electronic message center signs can’t be more than 0.3 lumens above ambient light. However, this change, if approved, would require businesses to turn down that brightness at night.

Reasons for, and potential impacts of the change

In her petition online, Allen claims that the change in code would:

  • conserve energy,
  • increase safety for drivers and pedestrians after dusk,
  • reduce light pollution, and
  • allowing citizens to more easily enjoy the stars in the city.

Another reason to change the ordinance, Allen said, is preventing Orem from becoming the next Las Vegas.

“As Orem continues to grow, and new businesses build here, we would like to make sure it’s safe (well-lit at night) but also that we don’t become Vegas as businesses begin to compete for attention with brighter and more flashy ads, signs, and lighting,” wrote Allen in the online petition.

Editor’s note: This article has been updated to reflect accurate attributions for where quotes and statistics came from, and also eliminated some data and information that was not confirmed by KSL NewsRadio.

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Orem citizens petition to improve night safety, reduce light pollution