When the clocks go back, the UK is plunged into afternoon darkness, making it harder for drivers to spot people and harder for children and adults to get home safely on foot and bike.
The charity Brake, in partnership with Autoglass, is calling on drivers, organisations and communities to take action to prevent clocks-go-back casualties, by pledging to take extra care and getting behind its Bright Days initiative.
Brake is particularly urging drivers to protect people on foot and bike at this risky time of year and year-round by pledging to slow down to 20mph around homes, shops and schools.
At 20mph drivers have a far better chance of stopping in time in an emergency, like if a child suddenly steps out. See below for more advice for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists on protecting themselves and others as evenings get darker.
Schools, organisations and anyone passionate about walking and cycling are also encouraged to sign up now to run a Bright Day during Road Safety Week from November 19 to 25 November, where everyone wears their brightest clothes to raise awareness of the risks faced by people on foot and bike in winter and the importance of drivers slowing down and looking out.
The initiative also raises funds for Brake’s work caring for people bereaved and injured in road crashes and campaigning for safer roads.
Brake is also renewing calls for government to put an end to winter blues by putting the clocks forward by an hour year round. It’s estimated this would result in 80 fewer deaths and hundreds fewer serious injuries each year, preventing unnecessary suffering and saving the NHS £138million annually.
“Anyone can back the Lighter Later campaign on Facebook or at www.lighterlater.org.
Ellen Booth, Brake senior campaigns officer, said: “We can all help to reduce terrible and needless road deaths and injuries in winter darkness, and drivers in particular can make big a difference by committing to slow down. Slowing down to 20mph in communities gives you time to stop quickly should you need to: particularly vital when visibility is low.
“Brake is also calling on schools, organisations and communities to take action and help make winter evenings safer, especially for people on foot and bicycle. Help get life-saving messages out to drivers and families in your area by getting involved in our Bright Day initiative this autumn.
“We are also encouraging everyone to get behind the Lighter Later campaign, to help convince the government to put a halt to dark winter afternoons, and the annual increased risks, by putting the clocks forward year-round.”
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Weather for Bedford
Saturday 25 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 15 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 6 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 10 mph
Wind direction: North west