Brake Calls For "Safer, Lighter Evenings"

80 Lives Could Be Saved Every Year If Clocks Are Moved Forward


Road safety charity 'Brake' has reiterated the benefits of moving the clocks forward by an hour all year round.

British Summer Time officially started at the weekend (March 30th) and Brake has long campaigned for changes to the current system. The clocks will go back by an hour in October so that people benefit from extra daylight in the morning.

Motoring groups and road safety lobbyists think it would be far better to have an additional hour of light in the afternoon instead, as this is when roads are at their busiest, which means accidents are more likely to happen.

Brake insisted this could save around 80 lives a year and significantly reduce the number of serious injuries being reported in the UK. It also has the potential to save the NHS around £138 million a year.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive at the charity, said moving the clocks forward by an hour is a simple change that will benefit society.

"With lighter afternoons and evenings, many more people would be able to get out and walk and cycle, to get to school or work, or simply for their health and enjoyment," she commented.

"People on foot or bike would be easier for drivers to see, many devastating road casualties would be prevented."

Ms Townsend also urged drivers to take extra care when travelling through residential areas. She advised reducing speeds to 20 mph around homes, schools and shops.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents is another long-term advocate of switching to a "Single/Double Summer Time" system. Leaders of the organisation highlighted even more statistics that underline the benefits of altering the clocks in order to maximise the amount of daylight in the afternoon.

It said carbon emissions could be cut by 447,000 tonnes a year, while Britain's tourism sector would receive a £3.5 billion boost, creating up to 80,000 jobs in the process.

Expert Opinion
Following the winter months, the start of British Summer Time and lighter evenings creates much more favourable conditions for people to drive in. However, it is vital that road safety remains a priority all year around and anything that protects drivers, cyclists or pedestrians from potential harm should be given plenty of consideration.

"The recommendation to move the clocks forward by an hour all year around is not a new one and the fact it is regularly raised as a possibility shows there is an appetite for it to happen.

"We would urge the Government to collaborate with road safety organisations to review this approach and examine whether the step could really have a positive impact, but also encourage all road users to ensure they put safety first whenever they are out and about."
Neil Whiteley, Partner