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With the clocks set to go back this Sunday, the Institute for Advanced Motoring (IAM) is calling for changes to be made to the British Summertime (BST), to provide us with more daylight hours in the evening.
The IAM is the UK’s largest independent road safety charity, dedicated to improving standards and safety in driving, motorcycling and cycling, and this week it is campaigning to bring the British time zone forward by an hour in both summer and winter.
This issue is one which has been heavily campaigned for some time, and which most people would agree is a sensible move in terms of increasing safety on Britain’s roads. The change would mean that people in the UK would benefit from the same advantages as the rest of the continent, so we would gain lighter evenings, which in turn would help to prevent car crashes and other safety-related incidents.
In fact, figures released from the Department for Transport have revealed that changing the daylight hours could prevent as many as 80 deaths and at least 200 serious injuries on our roads every year. The move would also align the hours of daylight to the same waking and working hours as most of the European population.
As it stands, the arrival on Sunday of darker evenings will bring a significant increase in road casualties, in fact in 2011 the following was calculated by the IAM from the Department for Transport’s ‘Reported Road Casualties Great Britain’:
IAM chief executive Simon Best said: “Making evenings lighter would save lives. While an extra hour of daylight would help to make the commute home much safer for all road users, children, cyclists and motorcyclists would benefit most.”
“We want to see a three-year trial of the new daylight system. If the trial period proves the new daylight hours have a positive effect on road safety, it is clear that it is the system we should keep. With convincing evidence of the potential benefits, it is only right that we pilot a new system.”