The arrival of British Summertime has prompted the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) to highlight its ‘Lighter Later’ campaign, which is intended to reduce the number of road and pedestrian accidents.
They support the Daylight Saving Bill which was put forward by Rebecca Harris MP, and involved putting the clocks forward an hour in winter and two hours in summer.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents has campaigned for many years for the introduction of ‘Single/Double Summer Time’ or SDST (GMT+1 in Summer and GMT+2 in Winter).
This would mean that the clocks would go forward one hour in the Winter and two hours in Summer, bringing us in line with the central European Time Zone and making evenings lighter all year round.
Figures on the RoSPA website show that in 2011 there was a sharp rise in pedestrian deaths from 25 in September to 65 in December, and more recent research indicates that Single/Double Summer Time would save approximately 80 lives and 212 serious injuries every year.
A spokesperson from top advice provider and law firm Accident Advice Helpline, who deal with hundreds of RTA claims every year, had this to say,
“We see a significant increase in the number of RTA compensation claims once the clocks go back at the end of October. Shorter daylight hours and weather conditions such as fog and ice combine to make the roads considerably more dangerous from November onwards.”
He went on to add, “The fact that it is going dark just as children make their way home from school increases their risk as pedestrians, and it would be interesting to see if SDST had any effect on this, even if it was only for a trial period.”
He hit the nail on the head with his last comment, as this is precisely what RoSPA has recommended. They feel that an introduction to SDST on a trial basis of 2-3 years would be the way forward, and the final decision would then be based on the reality of lives saved rather than estimated figures.
The Daylight Saving Bill had much public support in 2011/12 with more than 45,000 people petitioning for its approval in Parliament, or at least a trial. The Bill failed at the last hurdle however, with just a handful of MPs managing to defeat its advance through Parliament.
They offer a 24 hour helpline for advice and support which can be reached on 0800 689 0500.
Date Published: October 16, 2013
Author: David Brown