It’s now a week since the clocks went back, and the afternoons are steadily becoming darker earlier.
The loss of daylight isn’t much fun for anyone – but road safety charity Brake warns that it can be fatal for pedestrians and cyclists.
It has launched a new campaign to help prevent accidents on the roads this autumn. Called ‘Go bright Go 20’, the campaign calls for:
· Drivers to slow down to 20 miles an hour on dark nights when going past schools, shops, homes and other busy areas;
· Pedestrians and cyclists to make themselves easier to spot by wearing bright clothing.
“Last year in the UK 518 people were killed and 8,345 seriously injured while walking and cycling, and the risks are heightened on dark winter evenings,” says the charity.
“Drivers can do their bit to protect people on foot or bike by pledging to slow down to 20mph or below around homes, schools and shops, giving themselves a far better chance of stopping in time in an emergency, such as if a child steps out from the darkness unexpectedly.”
Brake deputy chief executive Julie Townsend adds: "As the clocks go back and afternoons get darker, people on foot and bike are more at risk, so it's a time when drivers needs to be extra vigilant.”
The charity is inviting community groups and organisations to take part in its annual Bright Day initiative. Held during Road Safety week (17-23 November), Bright Days are a chance for people to wear their brightest clothes to raise awareness of the risks faced by cyclists and pedestrians in autumn and winter– and to remind drivers of the importance of slowing down and paying more attention.
Make it lighter later
In addition to its own campaigns, Brake is also supporting wider efforts to persuade the UK government to put the clocks forward for an hour year round – a change that it is estimated would prevent 80 deaths and hundreds of serious injuries every year by giving us more daylight during waking hours. You can find out more about the campaign here [www.brake.org.uk/lighterlater