Should we say goodbye to British Summer Time?

A call for changes to British Summer Time by one of the UK’s leading road safety charities is likely to be supported by the majority of motorhome insurance providers in the UK, who year on year see claims increase when the clocks go back.

The Institute of Advanced Drivers (IAM) is calling for radical changes to how time is measured in the UK and are proposing to replace British Summer Time (BST) with Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) plus one hour in winter and GMT plus two hours in summer. This would extend the hours of daylight in the evenings, making them brighter until 10pm. They believe such a system would drastically reduce casualties in motor accidents and statistics prove they have a point.

Every year when the clocks go back at the end of October accident rates start to climb. Compared to average monthly figures last year, November saw a 14% increase in the number of pedestrians killed or seriously injured, a massive 28% in the number of motorcycle casualties per vehicle mile, and a 5% increase in cyclist injuries. It is the first few weeks that are the worst but darker days and nights usually mean more deaths and injuries on our roads. IAM propose a three year trial period for their idea and they have support plenty of support from other industries.

The tourist industry has long supported the idea of longer daylight hours and it is a fact that campervan enthusiasts along with other motorists would spend more time, hence more money, at attractions if they had more hours of daylight to enjoy. The Tourism Alliance for instance believes the change would create more jobs and help the UK out of the recession. Environmental groups believe the trial could reduce harmful CO2 emissions by up to half a million tonnes and law and order experts suggest longer daylight hours will also bring about a reduction in the crime rate.

The campaign for a change seems to be growing in momentum and IAM are convinced it is now time to give their suggestion a try, certainly a vote for Scottish Independence in the next couple of years would see England and Wales move forward with this a whole lot quicker.

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