I am writing to ask for your help in our campaign topersuade Parliament to vote in favour of Single/Double Summertime (SDST) tohelp save lives on our roads.
A move to Single/Double Summertime has been alongstanding priority for PACTS and this winter we hope to see importantprogress in Parliament. This winter we hope to see substantial progress whenthe Private Member’s Bill proposed by Rebecca Harris will be debated onDecember 3. Rebecca has decided to use her Bill to call for cross-policyresearch to be conducted looking at the impact which Single/Double Summertimecould have, leading to a 3 year trial based on supporting evidence.
In March this year, PACTS joined the Lighter Latercoalition and we have since been working together to gather support forRebecca’s Bill. Single/Double summertime carries a wide range of benefits ofwhich more can be seen on the Lighter Later website www.lighterlater.org
In the UK,clocks are set to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) from October to March and BritishSummer Time (BST), which is GMT + 1, from March to October. Most EuropeanCountries follow Central European Time (CET) which is GMT + 1 in winter and GMT+ 2 in summer. PACTS’ interest lies primarily in the road safety gains whichthe change would bring about.
The combination of the sun setting and high numbers ofroad users results in a significant increase in the numbers of road deaths andin the total number of people killed and seriously injured (KSI) between 3pmand 6pm. The higher number of injury crashes in the evenings is linked to thecompounding effects of darkness, driver fatigue and the increased exposure ofchildren returning from school.
Research conducted by TRL in 19989 estimated that theadoption of Single/Double Summertime in the UK would result in a reduction inroad user KSI of around 450. Normalised by average casualty reductions sincethen, the reduction is more likely to be around 270 fewer KSI casualties ofwhich a reduction in deaths of between 74 and 98. The TRL research confirmedearlier research which looked into the effects of the 1968/71 experiment whenBST (GMT + 1) was employed all year. Although the experiment did result in ahigher number of casualties during the darker mornings, these were outweighedby the overall reduction of around 2,500 KSI for each year of the trial.
To ensure that her Bill completes its second reading,at least 100 MPs must be present on December 3 to vote in favour of a closuremotion to allow the Bill to be scrutinized in Committee. To assist withachieving this, Lighter Later have developed a web tool which generates anemail letter which you can send to your MP urging them to turn up on the dayand support the bill. The tool can be found at http://www.lighterlater.org/mp/write
I am now asking you, as and individual or on behalf ofyour organisation, to write to your MP urging them to attend and vote. Please feel free to copy any of the informationin this email or in our policy briefing on the topic into you letters to MPs. Ifyou need any further information please do not hesitate to contact us at PACTS.
Executive Director, PACTS