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THERE’S an hour more in bed over this weekend. A cause for celebration?

Well, certainly my teenage daughter will welcome the fact. But not me.

I really find the ending of British Summer Time – putting the clocks back an hour – terribly depressing. It’s the knowledge that you’ll be sitting in the office at 4pm; and it will be dark, or getting dark outside.

I also tend to think people are more alert in the morning rather than later in the day after a hard and stressful day at work. You know the thing. Picture this: a November afternoon, 5pm. It’s raining, it’s dark, the drive home is difficult, headlights are refracted through the windscreen. It’s an unappealing time to drive.

It’s also a more dangerous time to drive.

There’s a spike in accidents at this time of year, precipitated by the dangerous cocktail of early afternoon lack of visibility, deteriorating weather conditions and lack of driver preparation for the changed conditions.

So, along with TRL (Transport Research Laboratory) I really do welcome the Daylight Saving Bill which is due for its second reading in the House of Commons in December. (In other words put our clocks forward an hour – the same time as Central European Time.)

The Bill requires a cross-departmental analysis of the potential costs and benefits of advancing time by one hour for all or part of the year, and for action to be taken in light of that analysis.

The Bill follows 10:10’s Lighter Later campaign that aims to achieve a 10% cut in the UK’s carbon emissions in 2010. The campaign has used road safety research undertaken by TRL that indicates lives could be saved and serious injuries prevented each year on the roads were Britain to advance its time by one hour.

TRL estimates that the number of fatal casualties could be reduced by 82 per year and the number of serious casualties by 212 per year. In my book, that’s worth it alone.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t like getting up in the dark. And I’ve listened to arguments on the radio both for and against adopting the advancement of the clocks, some of which have been highly persuasive. But the benefits of fewer road deaths and accidents; less electricity consumption; and the chance for a more active lifestyle in the evening I find strongly convincing.

Business Car Manager Editor’s Blog: put clocks forward, not back

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Ralph Morton is an award-winning journalist and editor of Business Motoring, as well as Editorial DIrector of Business Car Manager Ltd. Ralph writes extensively about the car and van leasing industry as well as wider fleet and company car issues. A former editor of What Car?, Ralph is a vastly experienced writer and editor and has been writing about the automotive sector for over 35 years.

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