Rebecca Harris, Conservative MP for Essex Castle Point, has been awarded Parliamentarian of the Month by Brake, the road safety charity, and Direct Line.
In June this month, Rebecca tabled a Private Members' Bill to get the Secretary of State to conduct an analysis of the costs and benefits of introducing daylight saving time and then act on the results.
Daylight saving time means putting the clocks forward by one hour to make the days lighter. It would make journeys home from schools much safer for children during the winter months. It's estimated that this could save 100 lives each year on our roads, and prevent many more serious injuries.
Brake has been calling for action from policy makers to bring the clocks forward for years. During the winter, darkness may come as early as 3pm in some parts of the UK, meaning drivers, pedestrians and cyclists have no option other than to travel in the dark. Pedestrians and cyclists become harder to see, which puts them at much greater risk. Each year the number of deaths and injuries on our roads increases sharply as we put the clocks back at the end of summer and the evenings become darker earlier.
The environmental campaign group 10:10 brought together charities to campaign together on this issue. They have highlighted evidence that as well as improving road safety, putting the clocks forward has the potential to significantly reduce the amount of energy we use in the winter months, cutting carbon emissions by an estimated 447,000 tonnes and offer other social and economic benefits.
Harris has used her influence as an MP to help her constituents to campaign for road safety improvements such as pedestrian crossings in her local area and cutting carbon emissions and has supported the ‘Lighter Later' campaign as an opportunity to both improve safety and help protect the environment.