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Last Updated: Sunday, 26 October, 2003, 03:15 GMT
Safety call as clocks go back
Alarm clock
The clocks went back one hour at 0200 BST on Sunday
Safety campaigners are calling for British summertime to be maintained all year round as the UK put clocks back an hour on Sunday.

Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (Rospa) said 450 deaths and serious injuries occur during each year's five months of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

Instead, they want to keep to British Summer Time (BST) in winter and change to "double summertime" between March and October.

This was first tested between 1968 and 1971, with figures suggesting a reduction in deaths and serious injuries of about 2,500 each year. Despite this, MPs voted against permanent change.

Kevin Clinton, Rospa's head of road safety said the plan would mean darker mornings, but an extra hour of evening daylight throughout the year.

Mr Clinton said: "Pedestrians are particularly vulnerable at this time of year.

In the evenings kids want to enjoy themselves on the way home
Roger Vincent, of Rospa

"Studies show that vulnerable road users such as children and the elderly are more at risk during dark evenings than dark mornings."

Roger Vincent, of Rospa, told BBC News: "Children are likely to go directly to school in the morning and there are less elderly people around at that time of day, whereas in the evenings kids want to enjoy themselves on the way home - call in at the shops, play with friends, or visit relatives."

Mr Clinton said a trial of at least two years, using modern evaluation methods and data collection would provide accurate figures on the benefits in terms of reducing road accidents.

The trial between 1968 and 1971 was not adopted because objections were raised by the farming and construction industries and others involved in outdoor work, he added.

Clocks went back one hour at 0200 BST on Sunday.

The BBC's Jane Warr
"The government says the point of moving the clocks back is to make the best use of available daylight"

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