SOLAR-powered road studs are to be installed on two roads next week.
They will take over from the traditional cats’ eyes on two busy moorland roads above Huddersfield.
And, fittingly, they are being installed by Calderdale Council – local authority for the area where the inventor of cats’ eyes, Percy Shaw, was born.
The new LED (Light Emitting Diode) road studs are the first stage in a number of measures to reduce accidents on the dark moorland roads.
On Monday, Calderdale Council will begin the installation on parts of the A58 Rochdale Road and A672 Oldham Road. Work is expected to be completed by the end of the week.
The road studs use a built in solar powered LED that is automatically illuminated from dusk till dawn and is visible from up to 10 times further than a traditional cat’s eye that contain ‘retroreflectors’ – optical devices that reflect light rays back along a path parallel to that of the incident ray.
Clr Amanda Byrne said: “This is yet another step in making Calderdale a safer place for our drivers”.
Percy Shaw, a 1930s road-repairer from Halifax, had a “Eureka” moment to invent the cats’ eyes which have helped make roads safer for millions of motorists.
The story – or at least one of them – begins as he was driving home late one night.
The eyes of a cat caught in his headlights alerted him to the fact that he was about to veer off the road (and, as it happens, down a precipice).
He swerved to avoid the cat and in doing so probably saved both its life and his own.
This anonymous moggie unwittingly became the preserver of countless other people, both in Britain and throughout the world.
Shaw was a clever man who used this experience to create a simple road safety device that went on to make him a millionaire.