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Last Updated: Saturday, 29 October 2005, 11:50 GMT 12:50 UK
Child fears over darker mornings
Alarm clock
The clocks go back at 0200 BST on Sunday
Scottish children would be put in danger if the system of putting the clocks back was stopped, nationalists have warned.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (Rospa) is calling for lighter evenings which it said would reduce the number of accidents.

But the SNP's Fiona Hyslop said there was more risk of accidents on darker mornings.

Clocks should be put back by an hour at 0200 BST on Sunday.

Rospa wants a switch to Central European time but that would mean it would be dark in Scotland until after 0900 BST in the morning.

We must resist these calls and ensure the safety of Scotland's schoolchildren, not place them in further danger
Fiona Hyslop
SNP

Ms Hyslop, the SNP's education spokeswoman, has tabled a motion at Holyrood backing the current system of Daylight Saving Time

She argued that if the mornings were darker, the lives of Scottish children would be put at risk as they walked to school.

She said the environment could also suffer, with more parents opting to do the school run by car.

"It is important that we maintain the current system of daylight saving in order to protect the safety of children travelling to school in Scotland," she said.

"Not turning the clocks back an additional hour in winter would plunge Scotland into darkness with no daylight until between eight and nine o'clock in the morning.

Accident research

"Darker mornings would have adverse effects on children's safety, the environment and congestion as parents would increasingly use their cars to take their children to work which would increase the volume of traffic."

Research by the Transport Research Laboratory suggests there would be 450 fewer people killed and seriously injured on the roads each year if the UK switched to Central European Time.

However, Ms Hyslop added that several studies had shown that while there may be a decrease in the number of accidents south of the border, the reverse is the case in Scotland where additional casualties are likely to be children on their way to school.

"I think that for a variety of reasons, safety in construction, agriculture and more importantly safety for our children in rush hour, it's important that we stay the way we are," she said.

"We must resist these calls and ensure the safety of Scotland's school children, not place them in further danger."




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