This weekend the clocks go back and we all realise that summer is over. We can enjoy an extra hour and start looking forward to Hallowe’en, fireworks, and dare I say it, Christmas. However, the sudden change to dark evenings makes for a very dangerous time on the roads.
During the week, casualty rates peak between 5pm-6pm for adults, and 3.30pm-4.30pm for children. There is another peak in the morning, 8-9am, but the afternoon peak is higher for all ages. These times coincide with the morning and evening rush hours and school runs, which are already dangerous due to the volume of traffic, and even more so in the winter months when the evening journeys are made in the dark. Road casualty rates increase with the arrival of darker evenings and poor weather. For example, in 2013 there were more than twice as many pedestrian deaths in December as in June. It has been observed that each year from when the clocks go back in October, the peak in evening road casualties shifts so it falls in the hour after sunset. Research has also found that serious and fatal pedestrian collisions increase 10% in the four weeks after the clocks go back.
The Student Council have talked to the whole school about this and the importance of taking extra care on the roads at this time of year. They have urged pupils to wear something white, bright or reflective as our black uniform makes us very difficult to spot in the dark. School coats do have reflective strips in the design but adding a sticker or badge to bags will help improve visibility.
The student Council are also running a competition to design a sign or poster to promote road safety around school. Look out for the leaflet in their school bags this half term. Please encourage the girls to enter as this will help them to remember that roads and motor vehicles can be very dangerous. The closing date is 14th November and winners will be announced during Road Safety Week which begins on 17th November.