When told the reason for daylight savings time, the old Indian said, “only the government would believe that you could cut a foot off the top of a blanket, sew it to the bottom and have a longer blanket.”
While this anonymous quote expresses the feelings of a lot of people, changing our clocks twice a year has become an annoyance.
Even though that extra hour in the fall is great, the loss of the hour in the spring is a real pain.
There is a growing debate among members of Congress in Washington about whether we need to pick a time and stay with it. The “ditch the switch” movement has begun.
We could soon see legislation introduced to end the practice of flip-flopping our clocks.
So far, 36 states have initiated legislation to end or study the practice of the clock switching.
Federal statutes currently say any state can opt out of daylight savings time and go standard time permanently. But states that follow daylight savings time must adhere to federally set days for it. Under the current plan, clocks are set forward one hour the second Sunday in March and switched back the first Sunday in November.
Some lawmakers are calling for all year standard time, but the majority are endorsing permanent daylight savings time.
Traditionally year- round daylight savings time has been unpopular.
Daylight savings time began during World War I when Germany and Great Britain implemented it to conserve energy for the war. The United States followed by adapting the practice in 1918.
After the war ended, daylight savings time was repealed in the United States. It was reinstated during World War II and repealed when the war was over.
After some cities began implementing the change on their own, creating a nightmare when traveling from one state to another, Congress stepped in and passed the Uniform Time Act of 1966. This law required daylight savings time to be statewide.
Congress has changed the start and end times of daylight savings time twice since it began. The current schedule began in 2007.
The proposed plan to implement daylight savings time has advocates and opposition.
Proponents of the change contend longer evenings will motivate people to be more active, which could lead to health benefits.
The tourism industry reports more profit during daylight savings time because people have more time to go shopping, visit restaurants and attend evening events which boost the economy.
Studies have shown that daylight savings time improves road safety, lowering car accident rates.
The strongest argument made in opposing year- round daylight savings time is people do not like getting up at dark or sending their children to catch school buses in the dark.
Those in favor say there are options for making children’s school mornings safer by simply making school start times later.
Farmers have previously been the leaders in opposition to permanent daylight savings since it requires a shift in their schedules. This change affects their ability to make appointments with markets and suppliers. They contend it also disrupts the schedules of the livestock, particularly the cows whose milk production is affected by the shift to early morning milking times.
The television industry is not in favor of daylight savings time because people are doing other things besides watching tv in the evenings.
There are reportedly other benefits to making daylight savings time permanent year -round other than avoiding that awful two weeks it takes to adjust to the hour’s difference.
Educators say it would improve SAT scores for students who take the test in the early spring because they are currently still recovering from the time change.
It would benefit folks who are 65 or older because they struggle with the effects of the time change more than others. Older Americans face a greater risk of heart attack and stroke because of the switch in the spring.
It could also affect voter turnout because voters are more likely to go during daylight hours.
The reality of all this time switching is that changing the clock doesn’t create extra daylight. It only changes the time when the sun sets and rises.
Online petitions are available for people to express their opinions.
Let the debate begin because it would be nice if we could just set the clocks and leave them alone.