Call to scrap October clock change over coronavirus and road safety concerns

Road safety campaigners want the October clock change scrap to save the economy and lives.

British Summer Time is set to be used until October 25 but the Government is being urged to keep it through the winter, so consumers can enjoy daylight for longer to support businesses impacted by the pandemic.

When evening darkness forward by an hour every autumn, the UK public reacts to it like a curfew as they are less likely to stay out shopping, eating and drinking out in the dark.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents top chief, claims cancelling the clock change on Sunday would lead to a short but valuable amount of extra evening daylight.

RoSPA chief executive Errol Taylor said: “We believe that by taking this pioneering approach – which is low-cost and easy to implement – the Chancellor could provide extra, much-needed income for those businesses that are struggling to survive due to COVID.

“We have written to him and Parliamentary colleagues to urge him to take this proactive approach to protecting the economy, and keep the country at GMT+1 after October 25. By doing so, he will be encouraging consumers to 'stay out to help out'.”

Aside from the economic boost, scrapping the clock change would protect the lives of many vulnerable road users.

Each year, road related deaths rise after the October clock change when the home-time commute is plunged into sudden darkness, according to RoSPA.

In 2019, 54 pedestrians were killed in road collisions in November and 57 in December, compared to 33 in September and 36 in October.

A recent study published by the RAC Foundation also found that road traffic collisions increase by 19% in the two weeks immediately after the clock change.

Reasons cited for the annual rise in road incidents, include drivers being more tired after work, and pedestrians taking longer to travel from work or school than they do heading there in the morning.

Analysis of government statistics byDrivingExperience.comfound that 1,611 reported road casualties in 2019 were caused where poor visibility in darker driving conditions was a contributory factor.

Alex MacGregor from DrivingExperience.com said: “Year on year, there has been a significant number of incidents where driver visibility has resulted in a large number of accidents.

“All road users and pedestrians need to take extra care at this time of year, taking into consideration the change of circumstance as the clocks go back.”

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