Lots of debate around today about support for the Daylight Saving Bill in Scotland.
Concerns over the safety of Scottish road users have long been the stumbling block in debates but today road safety body RoSPA Scotland has backed the Lighter Later campaign, stating that:
All the evidence tells us that Scottish road users are much more vulnerable in the afternoon when they are tired and more likely to take longer, more digressive journeys.
We’re confident that such an experiment would place beyond doubt the proposition that an extra hour of evening daylight would prevent a significant number of deaths and injuries on Scottish roads each year.
The suggestion that changing the way we set our clocks would be a killer on Scottish roads is a myth. Based on 2009 road casualty figures, conservative estimates suggest shifting our clocks forward an hour could in fact prevent 20 deaths on Scottish roads every year. Many cite the danger of children travelling to school in the dark as a basis for objecting to any change, but it’s the trip home from school that’s more dangerous and where we most need that precious light. A study by the Policy Studies Institute found that in the four darkest months from November to February, fatal and serious injuries among children are nearly three times as high on the way home from school than in the morning.
The other objection often raised is that darker mornings would make things difficult for farmers. But today the Scottish NFU have reiterated their support for the bill saying …
The effect on agriculture of changing the clocks by an hour has reduced over the years but it is important to bear in mind that regardless of what the actual time is on the clock, there are only a set number of daylight hours available to farmers in any one day, during which they still have to carry out the bulk of their daily work and enjoy some social life.
The impact of any change to daylight saving time will not be uniform across the UK, so we need to analyse the particular Scottish impacts of such a change and the success of the planned private member’s bill may provide that platform.
Check out the full new story here …
So it seems, if you listen closely, that the call for a review of the way we set our clocks might well be developing a bit of an accent…