RoSPA has renewed its call for a move away from British Summer Time (BST), pointing to figures which show that more children are being hurt on Britain’s roads during the late afternoon and early evening than at any other time of day.
The Department for Transport (DfT) stats show that of the 15,976 child casualties on Britain’s roads in 2016, 22% were hurt during the hours of 3-5pm – while more than 33% of all pedestrian casualties happened between those times.
This compares to 14% of children being injured during the morning school run, between the hours of 7-9am.
In 2016, pedestrian injuries for all age groups were at their highest in November – something RoSPA attributes to the ‘suddenly-darker evenings’.
BST was introduced 100 years ago in order to make the most of daylight hours during the First World War, but RoSPA is campaigning for a change to Single/Double Summer Time (SDST). This would see the clocks moved forward to GMT+1 in the winter, and GMT+2 in the summer, increasing evening sunlight year-round.
In the past, this move has been supported by Road Safety GB and other stakeholders including Brake and IAM RoadSmart.
In 2012, campaigners hoping to get UK clocks moved forward by an hour all year round accused a small group of MPs of talking a Private Member’s Bill out of time.
The Bill had the support of more than 90 organisations and 120 MPs who all voted to pass the motion; just 10 attending MPs were against, but the session ran out of time before the motion could be passed.
While RoSPA acknowledges the change to SDST might increase the risk to vulnerable road users during darker mornings, it says the reduced risk in the evening would lead to a ‘significant net reduction in overall deaths and injuries’.
Errol Taylor, RoSPA chief executive, said: “Too many children and other road users are being killed and seriously injured on Britain’s roads because the autumn clock change suddenly plunges their evening journey into darkness, at the same time as other risk factors such as lower levels of alertness for motorists, and children’s tendency to take an indirect route home from school.
“The current daylight savings system is archaic, developed at a time when working practices and technology – not least automated vehicles – were a million miles from what we have today.
“We’d like to see the Government assess the potential benefits of the change, which could take the form of a short trial.”
Category: General news.