after summarising the experimental work done at the transport and road research laboratory which led to the design of lightweight breakaway lighting columns a description is given of the five public installations of breakaway columns erected up to the present. the problems encountered in the full scale operation of the installations and the measures taken to solve them are described. accident records from three of the breakaway installations show, as expected, that the severity of accidents involving lighting columns is considerably reduced. most of the accidents with breakaway columns were in the damage-only category and in just less than half of these the damage to the vehicle was so slight that the vehicle could be driven away and was not identified. on the evidence to date the average cost of a breakaway column accident is less than one-fifth of the average cost of a conventional column accident. the value of this improvement is likely to exceed considerably the higher capital cost of the columns in the majority of installations for which they are suitable. (a)

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