During the working week, casualty rates peak in the hours beginning at 8am and 5pm for adults, and the hours beginning at 8am and 3.30pm for children, with the afternoon peak being higher for both. Road casualty rates increase with the arrival of darker evenings and worsening weather conditions.
The timing of sunrise and sunset is relevant to Road Traffic Incidents (RTIs) because there is greater risk at night than in daylight and clock time has a greater effect on the pattern of activity on the roads than does the incidence of daylight; for example most people return from work between 5pm and 6pm, regardless of the timing of sunset.
(Cronin and Garnsey, 2007)
Every October when the clocks go back and sunset subsequently occurs earlier in the day, road casualties rise in the hour which now falls after sunset. The effects are worse for the most vulnerable road users like children, the elderly, cyclists and motorcyclists. The reverse happens in the spring when sunset occurs one hour later.
Moving to Single Double Summer Time (SDST) would produce significant net benefits – although there would be a slight increase in the morning RTI peak, this would be more than offset by the reduction of RTIs during the evening peak.
Opponents of the change in Scotland, whose northerly latitude makes for particularly short winter days, worry that were SDST to be implemented, the loss of daylight in the morning would offset or outweigh the benefits of the extra light in the afternoons and evenings.
Analysis (conducted for the DfT) confirms that the cost benefit case of SDST in road safety terms is clear, projecting a net benefit of implementation of about £2.5billion over 20 years in terms of reduced casualties and is based on the number of casualties avoided. It is estimated that the initial implementation cost would be around £5 million.
A 2006 online survey by RoSPA found that 86 per cent of people were in favour of SDST.
(cited in Sillito, 2008)
- Date Added: 03 Apr 2012, 08:13 AM
- Last Update: 27 Jan 2017, 03:54 PM