Darker evenings bring danger
With the end of British Summer Time (BST) bringing in darker evenings, Brake, the road safety charity, is calling on the Government to commit to moving to Single/Double Summer Time (SDST) to help save lives on the road.
SDST would move our clocks forward an additional hour all year round and so would create lighter evenings, allowing many road users, especially cyclists and pedestrians, to take advantage of the benefits of natural light to remain safe and be seen during evening rush hours. Lighter winter evenings could also have life-saving implications - the number of pedestrians killed jumped from 46 in October 2017 to 63 in November 2017, the first month after the clocks went back, a consistent trend over recent years.
Studies have found that moving the clocks to an hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+1) in winter, and two hours ahead (GMT+2) in summer, would prevent 80 deaths and hundreds of serious injuries on UK roads every year. There are also significant environmental benefits to be gained from implementing SDST as it has been estimated that the switch would reduce CO2 pollution by up to 447,000 tonnes each year.
Commenting Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for Brake, said, 'With summer time ending, and the nights closing in, the danger facing cyclists and pedestrians on our roads increases. At a time when the UK is struggling to move the dial on road safety, a move to SDST offers a glaringly simple and effective way to reduce deaths and injuries on our roads and so must be considered seriously by the Government. Lighter evenings can bring so many benefits, not only to road safety but through reducing carbon emissions and encouraging more people to be active and use the extra daylight for outdoor leisure activity – it really is a win-win for the Government.'