Time for a change?

Technical Director | Tachograph Analysis Consultants Limited,

The clocks change (again) on the 26th March.

This clock change or ‘daylight saving’ has been part of our way of life for over 100 years.  Every Spring, the clocks ‘spring’ forward and Summer hours officially begin.  In the Autumn, they ‘fall’ back to their regular schedule.

But why does daylight saving time exist?

It was first proposed in 1895, as a way to allow workers using manual labour outdoors, such as farming, to continue to work later into the year.  However, it wasn't officially implemented until World War One (in May 1916) with Great Britain copying Germany when they altered their hours to make the most of the daylight.

Since then, each Spring, the clocks have ‘sprung’ forward, giving an hour more of evening sunlight every day.  So in Autumn, when the clocks ‘fall back’, time returns to its usual rhythm and we, technically, get an hour longer of early morning sunlight throughout the Winter months.

It is now being suggested the idea of daylight savings is old and out-dated and causes more problems than it solves.  While farming, for example, is still an active and invaluable industry, technology has advanced and it is now largely unnecessary for farmers to have to rely completely on manual labour.

Organisations, such as RoSPA (The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents), have claimed the current use of daylight savings is dangerous for pedestrians, particularly vulnerable ones such as children, the elderly and cyclists.  According to RoSPA, road accidents rise in the Autumn when the clocks go back.

For transport, there remain several reasons why daylight savings would continue to be of benefit.  When the clocks go forward, Great Britain becomes in line with Central European Time.  For business and the delivery of goods from the UK to countries such as France and Belgium, allowing everyone to work together on the same hours helps improve communication and subsequent productivity.

Whatever the ‘fors’ and ‘againsts’, it seems we will all still be changing the local time in our tachographs (and cars, ovens, DVD players, wall clocks etc.) for some time to come!

Need help changing the local time on your tachograph when the clocks change?  Visit digital-tachograph.com/changing-local-time to see how it is done, or ring 01704 894555 for advice.

1. http://www.hsmsearch.com/page.asp?obj_id=776106&sid=703
2. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/11188313/5-reasons-to-keep-Daylight-Savings-Time-all-year-round.html