Is British Summer Time Daylight Robbery?
A campaign to get our clocks changed across the UK, has just received the support of one of the UK’s top windscreen suppliers ‘Autoglass Windscreens’ as they believe, like many others do that the change would significantly reduce the number of road accidents.
The “Lighter Later” campaign is run by an organization called ‘10:10’ who are calling for a three-year trial where clocks are moved forward by one hour throughout the year. This would be called ‘Single Double Summertime’ or SDST and would see the UK set our clocks to GMT+1 in the winter months and GMT+2 in the summer. Effectively, the sun would rise an hour later and set an hour later through the entire year.
The campaign says that if we could agree the changes, the UK would see a considerable improvement in road safety throughout the year. Afternoon and early evening journeys (such as going home from work) could be made whilst its still light by putting the clocks forward by one hour.
Seems that even The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) believes that changing the clocks in that way would save approximately 80 lives each year in the UK. Groups such as elderly people and children aged from 5 to 15 are likely to benefit most.
Apparently, 40% of fatal and serious injuries happen between the hours of 7.00pm and 8am the next day as low light levels means that its not so easy for drivers to see what’s around them and this is particularly hazardous for pedestrians and cyclists.
Thousands of people could avoid being involved in road accidents every year by such a simple change and removing the heartache for themselves and their families of serious injuries or fatalities.
Looking at the other sides of this, there would be definite benefits across the board, beginning with the NHS where fewer accidents could save the service vast sums of money. Energy costs would also be reduced as we wouldn’t need to light our homes so early and less energy use means a cleaner, greener less polluting country. Its claimed the lighter nights would also have an impact on crime and reduce burglaries and of course, also on the up side, you just might be able to spend more time outside in the garden (even after work).
A spokesperson from ‘Lighter Later’ said “its time we put an end to daylight robbery” (great line that) and looking at their website, it eloquently observes that “everybody loves sunshine, but every year we set our clocks so that we get less of it in our lives”, “we sleep through the sunshine, then switch on expensive and polluting electric lights to keep out the dark nights”
It’s claimed that switching the clocks would cut at least 447,000 tonnes of Co2 pollution (which is the same as more than 50,000 cars driving completely around the world each year). Over 80 lives could be saved and hundreds of serious injuries avoided, saving the NHS an estimated £138 million pounds a year. At home, our electricity bills would be reduced as we maximised the daylight. Crime would be reduced as would the fear of crime. It’s also estimated that between 60,000 to 80,000 new jobs could be created in leisure and tourism, earning the economy between £2.5 – £3.5 billion pounds each year.
So in conclusion, making this change would be positive move in dealing with climate change, would help our economy and be good for our whole society. Yes, its going to be a huge change if it happens, but its going to be one we will all very shortly get used to as its got to be an improvement if we are awake when the sun is out as its going to make us happier and healthier.
All that said, can you see it happening? We hope so, but don’t hold your breath.