- Fifteen states have already passed laws to extend daylight saving time all year round.
- “With everything that goes wrong in the world, we at least let the clocks work.”
- The US first introduced daylight saving time in World War I to save fuel.
Love it or hate it, our annual ritual in early March – changing our clocks to daylight saving time – comes on Sunday at 2am.
That said, it’s also time for another annual ritual: the debate about the pros and cons of jumping forward (in March) or relapsing (in November). While some people love daylight at the end of the day when the weather warms up, others complain about losing an hour of sleep.
Unique “time activist” Scott Yates from Denver, wants us to “end the barbarism of changing the clock twice a year”. Yates, who promotes the hashtag #LocktheClock, said the momentum for ending time change is now stronger than ever.
“The mood I get everywhere is that it is time to get this done,” he wrote on his website. “Whatever goes wrong in the world, we at least let the clocks work. That’s the general feeling that I pick up on everywhere.”
Fifteen states have already passed laws to extend Daylight Saving Time or Standard Time throughout the year, ending the practice of changing our clocks twice a year.
This legislation is “more than symbolic,” Yates told USA TODAY. “Every state that passes something motivates DC lawmakers to do something. That means a lot.”
The 15 states: California, Florida, Delaware, Louisiana, Maine, Oregon, Idaho, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, Arkansas, Georgia, Ohio, and Wyoming.
Federal law was passed 55 years ago
The ultimate stumbling block for year-round daylight saving time fans is the Federal Single Time Act of 1966, which became law due to the random way states had observed daylight saving time by then. The law states that states must either change their clocks to Daylight Saving Time at a specific time and day or use Standard Time throughout the year.
The only power individual states or territories have under the law is to turn off Daylight Saving Time and permanently set it to Standard Time, as is the case in Arizona, Hawaii, Guam, American Samoa, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. American Virgin Islands is practiced.
Georgia is a state that wants to set standard time all year round. A bill recently passed by the Georgia Senate must also pass Georgia House and be signed by Governor Brian Kemp before it becomes state law.
A separate Georgia bill would allow daylight saving time in Peach State year round.
However, for any proposals that would provide for permanent daylight saving time, Congress would have to amend the Uniform Time Act of 1966.
Senator Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Has been in favor of year-round summer time for several years. His Sunshine Protection Act of 2019 was an attempt to end the biannual time changes and maintain daylight saving time throughout his state and across the country instead of the current eight months throughout the year. Even though it passed Florida law, the law still requires an amendment to the 1966 law to see the light of day at the federal level.
This year, two bills were introduced in Congress that provide for permanent summer time CNN: the Sun Protection Act (HB 69) and the Daylight Act (HB 214). Both have stalled in the House Committee on Energy and Trade.
The United States first introduced daylight saving time in World War I to help conserve fuel under the Standard Time Act of 1918, also known as the Calder Act. After World War I, Congress abolished daylight saving time at the federal level, although it remained a local option that some states continued to uphold.
During World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt initiated a year-round daylight saving time commonly known as “wartime”.
Who is responsible for the time?
The Department of Transportation (DOT) is responsible for daylight saving time and all time zones in the United States. “Monitoring of the time zones was assigned to DOT because time standards are important for many modes of transport,” said the department’s website.
According to DOT, summer time is observed because it saves energy, saves lives by preventing traffic accidents and reducing crime.
Proponents of permanent summer time also say it will do everything it can to reduce child crime and obesity, improve the economy, and save on energy bills.
A 2015 study by Jennifer Doleac and Nicholas Sanders of the Brookings Institute found that robbery rates were 7% lower in the weeks after daylight saving time. A 27% decrease occurred when only the hours around sunset were included.
On the other side of the coin, proponents of year-round standard time say it balances daylight in the morning and evening, making it easier to sleep and wake up. The new website SaveStandardTime.com is one such effort that “data and history show that geographically appropriate, permanent, standard time is the best civil clock for health, safety, education, productivity, wages, the environment, and civil liberty.”
More than 70 countries around the world observe daylight saving time. It is known as daylight saving time in some countries, including the UK and Europe.
Nobody is sure how much daylight is actually “saved” worldwide every year, although the physics does not show any. This is of course due to the fact that the amount of daylight does not really change: it effectively only switches it from morning to evening.
Featuring: Kimberly Miller, The Palm Beach Post