As people prepare to put their clocks back the road safety charity Brake is appealing for action to prevent pedestrian and cyclist casualties as darker afternoons make it harder to spot children and adults heading home.
Brake is urging drivers to protect people on foot and bike slowing down to 20mph around homes, shops and schools. It is also renewing calls for the government to put an end to winter blues by putting the clocks forward by an hour year round. It is estimated this would result in 80 fewer deaths and hundreds fewer serious injuries each year, saving the NHS £138 million annually.
– Ellen Booth, Brake senior campaigns officer
*“We can all help to reduce terrible and needless road deaths and injuries in winter darkness, and drivers in particular can make big a difference by committing to slow down. Slowing down to 20mph in communities’ gives you time to stop quickly should you need to: particularly vital when visibility is low. *
*“Brake is also calling on schools, organisations and communities to take action and help make winter evenings safer, especially for people on foot and bicycle. Help get life-saving messages out to drivers and families in your area by getting involved in our Bright Day initiative this autumn. We are also encouraging everyone to get behind the Lighter Later campaign, to help convince the government to put a halt to dark winter afternoons, and the annual increased risks, by putting the clocks forwardyear-round.” *
The Lighter Later campaign calls for the government to put the clocks forward by one hour year round making it GMT+2 in summer and GMT+1 in winter. It would make our evenings lighter and give us more daylight during waking hours. In January 2012 the Lighter Later Bill failed to pass its Third Reading in the House of Commons. Brake is urging the government to listen to overwhelming public and cross-party support for lighter evenings, and order the clocks forward year round.
For advice to help you stay safe on roads year round visit Brake.