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GEM Motoring Assist: forget that extra hour in bed

Monday, October 26, 2020 - 07:49
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Road Safety organisation GEM Motoring Assist is urging the UK government to look again at ending what it calls the ‘pointless practice’ of putting the clocks back in late October, in favour of adopting a year-round Single/Double British Summertime (SDST). This would not only save lives but would also deliver huge economic savings to the NHS through reducing the number of road collisions.

GEMGEM chief executive Neil Worth comments: “There are so many compelling reasons for making the change, and no relevant arguments at all for retaining the present arrangement.

“An experiment to use year-round British Summer Time for three years from 1968 led to an 11 per cent reduction in road casualties in England and Wales, as well as a 17 percent drop in Scotland1.

“Experts now estimate 80 deaths and more than 200 serious injuries would be prevented on the UK’s roads each year. According to the Home Office, there would also be a three per cent reduction in crime.”

GEM sets out the simple but indisputable benefits of ending the current practice of using GMT between late October and late March:

  • Fewer people would die on the roads of the UK. With ongoing cuts to road safety across the country, and no appreciable fall in the annual road death toll for several years, this has to be a welcome result.
  • More light in the evening rush hour is needed to cut casualties. There are approximately 50 per cent more fatal and serious injury collisions at this time than in the morning. In particular three times more children are injured on the way home from school than on the way to school.

Stay safe in the dark:
Ahead of tomorrow night’s re-setting of the clocks, GEM has assembled an easy-to-follow selection of tips to help reduce collisions in time of dusk and darkness:

  • Remove steam, mist condensation, dirt and ice from lights, windows and mirrors.
  • In foggy or wet conditions, slow down and used dipped headlights.
  • Be ready for the effects of glare from low winter sun, which can reduce visibility. In some circumstances, especially in the late afternoon, glare can leave you with no forward vision at all. Reflected glare from wet roads can also seriously compromise what you’re able to see.
  • Don’t delay switching on your lights. Even if your view of the road ahead is good, you may be much less visible to other road users, especially if you drive a dark-coloured vehicle.
  • Check your children are wearing something that will help them be seen easily, especially when it’s dark. Fluorescent, bright clothing works best by way, but reflective material is needed when it’s dark.

1 Road Safety Observatory https://www.roadsafetyobservatory.com/HowEffective/other/daylight-hours

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