Keep our roads lighter and brighter

News from Brake

22 March 2017

As we prepare, this weekend, to turn the clocks forward and welcome the start of spring, Brake, the road safety charity, is calling on the UK government to commit to moving to Single/Double Summer Time (SDST), a change that would require us to move our clocks forward an additional hour all year round.

The change would create lighter evenings all year round and would allow many road users, especially cyclists and pedestrians, to take advantage of the benefits of natural light to remain safe and be seen during the busiest hours on our roads. Travelling in daylight during the winter months could have particular life-saving implications: UK statistics show that pedestrian deaths and the vehicle casualty rate both increased during the winter months of 2015, a consistent trend over recent years [1].  

Previous studies have estimated that moving the clocks to an hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+1) in winter, and two hours ahead (GMT+2) in summer, would prevent 80 deaths and hundreds of serious injuries on UK roads every year [2,3]. There are also significant environmental benefits to be gained from implementing SDST, it has been estimated that the switch would reduce CO2 pollution by up to 447,000 tonnes each year [4].

Introducing SDST to the UK would encourage more people to walk or cycle to and from their destination rather than travelling by car. This would be a powerful boost to the wellbeing of local communities, promoting safer, more sustainable transport and healthier lifestyles for many individuals. 

Gary Rae, campaigns director for Brake, said: “Brake has been campaigning for the clocks to be changed for good for many years. It is such a simple and effective way to reduce deaths and injuries on our roads, and carries so many other benefits, like increased daylight leisure time, and reduced carbon emissions. I want the government to look at this much neglected issue again.”


About Brake

Brake is a national road safety charity, founded in 1995, that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies. We do this through national campaignscommunity education, services for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.

Follow Brake on TwitterFacebook, or The Brake Blog.

Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties. 

End notes

[1] Reported road casualties Great Britain: Annual report 2015, Department for Transport, 2016
[2] Report 368, a new assessment of the likely effects on road accidents of adopting a GMT+1/GMT+2 regime, Transport Research Laboratory, 1998 
[3] Department for Transport, A Safer Way: Consultation on Making Britain’s Roads the Safest in the World, 2009
[4] Yu-Foong Chong, Elizabeth Garnsey, Simon Hill and Frederic Desobry “Daylight Saving, Electricity Demand and Emissions; Exploratory Studies from Great Britain”, October 2009

Tags: clock change government winter spring