October 25th, 2018.

With the clocks going back this Sunday, the 28th of October, IAM RoadSmart has again called to scrap the practice, and switch to a daylight saving system to cut the number of young children injured in road crashes on their way home from school over the winter months.

Statistics from the Department for Transport show that of the 15,976 children hurt on Britain’s roads in 2016, nearly a quarter (22 per cent) were hurt during the hours of 3-to-5pm. The likelihood of a child being involved in a crash on the way home from school increases by 20 per cent over the winter months.

IAM RoadSmart warns that the dark afternoons are an especially dangerous time for youngsters coming home with less supervision, and individuals heading off to different activities at different times in this key period. According to official statistics, in 2016 pedestrian deaths rose from 20 in September, to 35 in October, 50 in November and 67 in December.

In 2009, the Department for Transport’s consultation paper ‘A Safer Way: Making Britain’s Roads the Safest in the World’ stated that moving to lighter evenings would prevent about 80 deaths on the road a year. IAM RoadSmart is especially concerned for youngsters aged 10-14, who have graduated to secondary school and are often making their way home solo for the first time. For this age group, road crashes make up over 50 per cent of all external causes of death.

IAM RoadSmart is suggesting that to allow extra daylight in the afternoons, the clocks should not be put back this winter. Then, next March, move one hour ahead – and then go back one hour in October 2019 - so called ‘double British summer time’ which also aligns the UK with most of Europe. Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart director of policy and research, said: “Every year there are unnecessary young victims through the winter as children go home in the darkness from school or out-of-hours activities.

“We are playing with the lives of children for no good reason. Young pedestrians under 15 are already a huge ‘at risk’ group for road safety, and that risk becomes even greater as the nights draw in. It would be easy to implement change, and without question save lives – so there are no good road safety reasons why this isn’t happening. The UK should at least trial the idea to prove the benefits once and for all.”

To find out more about IAM RoadSmart, visit www.iamroadsmart.com