More Than 70% of motorists Are Opposed to Clocks Going Back Next Month

More than 70% of motorists in the UK are opposed to the clocks going back at the end of October.

And over 60% thought there would be fewer deaths on British roads if the system were abolished.

A recent survey by car accident camera company SmartWitness showed that 71.5% of people would vote to abolish the practice of British Standard Time BST if there was a referendum tomorrow.

British Standard Time, also referred to a British Summer Time puts the clocks forward of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) by an hour on the last Sunday or March, and then puts them back again on the last Sunday of October.

One of the main reasons for opposition to the clocks going back an hour on Sunday October 25th was the increased number of deaths on the roads involving school-children because of darker afternoons.

Just over 60% (60.4%) said the reason they wanted to stop the clocks going back was that road accident mortality rates rise significantly in the winter months after the clocks are put back.

Mark Berry from Smart Witness said: "The findings from the survey were very clear; the vast majority of people in England do not want the clocks to go back in October and think the road safety as one of the main reasons why the law needs to change.

"Our company provides video accident cameras to private motorists, taxi firms, and haulage companies across the UK and every year we see a steep increase in the number of accidents after the clocks go back due to reduced visibility at afternoon rush-hour. Many of the insurers that we work with would welcome a change in the law because it would make a big reduction to the number of serious accidents on British roads."

Road accident figures from 2011 show that pedestrian deaths rise sharply from 25 in September to 34 in October, 48 in November and up to 65 in December, according to Royal Society of Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA).

Also in 2009 the Department of Transport published a paper that confirmed that moving to lighter evenings would prevent about 80 deaths on the road a year, and would be cheap to implement.

Mark Berry added: "The reasoning is simple, darker afternoons cause more accidents than darker mornings. Motorists are more likely to be tired after a day's work and concentration levels are lower, also children tend to go straight to school in the mornings but spend longer on their way back home in the afternoon, thus increasing their exposure to road dangers. There are also more shopping, social and leisure trips after work so this is the time where it makes more sense for it to be lighter."

In the SmartWitness survey entitled "Do You Want The Clock To Go Back?" people were asked whether they liked and disliked the clocks going back and 73.5% said they disliked it. The largest group of people, 45.8% said they didn't like the fact it was dark when they travelled home from work. Another 12.6% said they disliked the fact it was more dangerous for women to commute home from work in the dark, and another 15.1% said they were concerned for the safety of school children. Only 26.4% came up with reasons that they liked the clocks going back – most of that group (19.8%) said they preferred having lighter mornings.

The majority (67.8%) also thought it would make things easier for Britain to trade with Europe if we were running on closer time to Central European Time.

RoSPA have suggested replacing British Standard Time with a new system called Single Double British Summertime which is GMT + 2 hours in summer (March to October) and GMT + 1 hours from October to March.

For the first year of operation changing over from BST, the clocks wouldn't go back at all in October, but the clocks would be put forward again in March, making the time GMT + 2 hours, the clocks would be put back the October after that to bring the time back to GMT + 1 hour.