Sunday, 26 October 2014

Let's stop the tail wagging the dog and switch timezones

Every year when the clocks go back we talk about jumping forward an hour to get more light in the evenings to reduce accidents and every year nothing changes.

Attempts have been made in the past to switch to the same timezone as the continent but have always failed because it doesn't suit Scotland. Experts say that accidents are reduced when it's lighter in the evening when people are tired and inattentive but a relatively small number of people in the north of Scotland would be inconvenienced by it being dark for most of the morning. Unfortunately, the increased safety of 95% of the population has always come second to the convenience of the 5% who live in northern Scotland.

The nationalist myth that changing the timezone would cause more deaths or injuries in Scotland is just that: a myth. It was tried in the

The solution is quite simple. Scotland has its own government to take care of Scottish matters. If England, Wales and Northern Ireland want a different timezone to Scotland then devolve it to the Scottish government and let them decide what timezone they want to be in. There is nothing impractical about a country having more than one timezone - Russia spans 9 timezones whilst the USA and Canada span 6, for instance. If that's what it takes to stop the 10% increase in accidents that occurs from turning the clocks back every autumn then let's get it done now in time for the clocks going forward in the spring.

Watch the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents' video on the myths and politics around changing the timezone: