SDST would ‘put children’s safety first’: GEM

12.00 | 16 October 2014 | | 2 comments

GEM Motoring Assist is urging the UK Government to “put children’s safety first” by adopting Single/Double British Summertime (SDST).

GEM says that experts believe the move, involving an adjustment of the clocks to GMT + 1 hour in winter and GMT + 2 hours in summer, would prevent 80 deaths and more than 200 serious injuries on the UK’s road each year.

David Williams MBE, GEM chief executive, said: “Dark spells danger for pedestrians. In 2013, official figures show that twice as many pedestrians died in December as in June, while there is a 10% rise in fatal pedestrian collisions during the four weeks after the clocks go back.

“Estimates from the DfT’s own research suggest the benefits of a move to SDST would amount to nearly £140m annually, with just a modest £5m one-off investment in communicating the change.

“We believe the reasons for opposing the change – generally from those representing the interests of farmers and postal workers – are irrelevant and outdated. After all, farming technology is vastly improved, and postal deliveries take place throughout the day, not purely in the early mornings.

“GEM, in line with all safety groups, supports a change to SDST, because it will make a significant contribution to reducing deaths and serious injuries on our roads.”


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    Back in 2010 we looked at the issue and at the time calculated there was indeed a small rise (2.6%) in collisions after the clock change. We also profiled the risk by latitude which showed that those in the far north of Scotland would be more at risk from a SDST change. Perhaps worth a ready if you would like to know more about the subject:

    Richard Owen, Banbury
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    We have this tiresome charade every year. No doubt the £140 million is based on the absurd £1.65 million ‘value’ of a life calculation, which ignores the average £20,000 actual ‘cost.’ Hence the £140 million benefit would actually be £1.6 million compared to the £5 million investment. That would still be worth paying if it genuinely saved 80 lives, but I suspect that the effect on accidents would be roughly neutral.

    Paul Biggs, Staffordshire
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