Darker evenings spell danger for road safety

News from Brake
Thursday 25 October 2018
With the end of British Summer Time (BST) bringing in darker evenings, Brake, the road safety charity, is calling on the Government to commit to moving to Single/Double Summer Time (SDST) to help save lives on the road. 
SDST would move our clocks forward an additional hour all year round and so would create lighter evenings, allowing many road users, especially cyclists and pedestrians, to take advantage of the benefits of natural light to remain safe and be seen during evening rush hours. Lighter winter evenings could also have life-saving implications - the number of pedestrians killed jumped from 46 in October 2017 to 63 in November 2017, the first month after the clocks went back, a consistent trend over recent years [1]. 
Studies have found 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 as it has been estimated that the switch would reduce CO2 pollution by up to 447,000 tonnes each year [4].
Commenting Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for Brake, said:
“With summer time ending, and the nights closing in, the danger facing cyclists and pedestrians on our roads increases. At a time when the UK is struggling to move the dial on road safety, a move to SDST offers a glaringly simple and effective way to reduce deaths and injuries on our roads and so must be considered seriously by the Government. Lighter evenings can bring so many benefits, not only to road safety but through reducing carbon emissions and encouraging more people to be active and use the extra daylight for outdoor leisure activity – it really is a win-win for the Government.”
Notes to editors:
[4] Yu-Foong Chong, Elizabeth Garnsey, Simon Hill and Frederic Desobry “Daylight Saving, Electricity Demand and Emissions; Exploratory Studies from Great Britain”, October 2009
About Brake
Brake is a national road safety and sustainable transport 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 campaigns, community 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 Twitter, Facebook, 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.

Tags: cycling clock change light winter vulnerable road users summer