IAM RoadSmart calls for cancelling clock change

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Published on 22 October 2020 by Mike Waters

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Filed under Category: The world of motorcycling

The road safety charity IAM RoadSmart has called on the government to abandon the October clock change. 

The charity believes that moving to a permanent daylight saving system instead of one that shifts back and forth in spring and autumn would significantly improve road safety, especially for vulnerable road users. It also cited previous government estimates that doing so could save 80 lives per year and approximately £160 million.  

Casualty rates on the roads usually increase between 3pm and 7pm as the length of the day shortens. This coincides with the end of the school day and the evening rush hour, meaning that there are more people are on the roads when there is less daylight than there would be in the summer months. By not changing the clocks, this surge in people using the roads would coincide with one more hour of daylight during winter to help visibility.  

The charity also cited a historical example where this approach was put into practice. From 1968-1971, the British government kept the official time the same all year round and found that 2,500 fewer people were killed or injured during winter.  

Commenting, IAM RoadSmart Policy and Research Director Neil Greig said: “Stopping the change of clocks would be easy to implement and, without question, would save lives – there are no good road safety reasons why this isn’t happening. The UK should at least set up a two-year trial to prove the benefits once and for all. 

“Road safety is now about small incremental gains from a number of policy changes and daylight saving could play its part in helping break the current flat lining in road deaths we are seeing in this country.” 

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