70% of motorists against turning clocks back

22nd October 2013

As many as seven out of ten motorists in the UK do not want the clocks to go back this week, a new survey has revealed.

The poll, conducted by car accident camera company Smart Witness, indicated that 70.8 per cent of people would vote no in a referendum on the matter.

Three-fifths of drivers questioned believe there would be fewer deaths on the UK's roads if the system was abolished.

This has been backed up by a report published by the Department of Transport in 2009, which confirmed that moving to lighter evenings would prevent around 80 deaths on the road every year, and would be cheap to implement.

Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) has called for the replacement of British Standard Time with a new Single Double British Summertime.

This would effectively mean the UK operating on GMT +2 in the summer months, from March to October, and GMT +1 from October the March.

Smart Witness managing director Simon Marsh said: “The findings from the survey were very clear: the vast majority of people in England do not want the clocks to go back in October and think the road safety is one of the main reasons why the law needs to change.

He explained that his company sees a sharp rise in the number of accidents after the clocks go back due to the reduced visibility experienced during rush hour.

Road accident figures from RoSPA from 2011 indicated that the number of pedestrian deaths increased sharply from 25 in September to 34 in October, 48 in November and up to 65 in December, as the darker conditions take effect and make driving more difficult.

Mr Marsh added that the reasoning behind the move away from the clocks going back is "simple". "Motorists are more likely to be tired after a day’s work and concentration levels are lower, also children tend to go straight to school in the mornings but spend longer travelling home in the afternoon, increasing their exposure to road dangers.

Posted by Danielle Barge