Call­ing time on Win­ter clock change

The Kerryman (South Kerry Edition) - - NEWS - By STEPHEN FERNANE

CHANG­ING the clocks from sum­mer to win­ter time could be a thing of the past fol­low­ing a de­ci­sion by the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment to vote in favour of re­view­ing the bi-an­nual time change, a move wel­comed by MEP Sean Kelly.

Mr Kelly said a ma­jor­ity (384 MEPs) voted in favour of the res­o­lu­tion call­ing on the Com­mis­sion to as­sess the vi­a­bil­ity of per­sist­ing with day­light sav­ing time and he wel­comed the MEPs’ de­ci­sion to fol­low-up with pro­pos­als for a re­view.

Mr Kelly, who was speak­ing in sup­port of the changes with fel­low MEPs, cited that many stud­ies on day­light sav­ing time have failed to reach a de­fin­i­tive con­clu­sion on why the time changes should be re­tained. He added that re­search now shows the neg­a­tive ef­fects on hu­man health and dan­ger­ous con­se­quences for road safety which stem from the an­nual change.

“Ex­perts have found that peo­ple strug­gle to adapt to the time change, with a huge num­ber ex­pe­ri­enc­ing sleep de­pri­va­tion and dis­rup­tion in the im­me­di­ate af­ter­math. This leads to health prob­lems and a lack of con­cen­tra­tion that could im­pact on work pro­duc­tiv­ity and driver alert­ness,” said Mr Kelly.

The Com­mis­sion now plans to re­view the law which came into force in 2001 and to ex­plore the op­tions for set­ting an ‘EU-wide’ date and time for the start and end of sum­mer which would put an end to the tra­di­tional March/Oc­to­ber time change.

Mr Kelly said that in the US ap­prox­i­mately 100,000 road ac­ci­dents oc­cur in the first two weeks af­ter the clocks change, ad­ding that more wild an­i­mals are killed on roads be­cause they do not adapt to chang­ing traf­fic pat­terns. Farm­ers have also re­port­edly wit­nessed an im­pact on their an­i­mals, par­tic­u­larly dairy farm­ers as cows must hold their milk for an ex­tra hour.

“Real­is­ti­cally, all EU coun­tries would need to agree to­gether to scrap the twice-yearly time change, to let the clocks switch to sum­mer­time in March 2019 and not switch the clocks back the fol­low­ing Oc­to­ber. For the pro­tec­tion of the Sin­gle Mar­ket, it would need to be EUwide,” Mr Kelly added.

Seán Kelly

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.