For far too long normal people have been subjected to a cruel torture technique known as Daylight Savings.
Despite the name, all this time change does for non-farmers, is make us drive home in the dark during the winter and make us get up in the dark during the spring.
Getting rid of the time change is an idea long overdue. Hopefully, the legislation introduced by both Congressman Buchanan (R-FL) and Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), dubbed the “Sunshine Protection Act” will finally clear whatever hurdles exist and become law in the near future.
The bill would finally put an end to the nonsense of turning our clocks back and forth, losing an hour of sleep then regaining it months later.
However this is the second go-around that Buchanan and Rubio have introduced in Congress, a bill that would make Daylight Saving Time permanent across the country.
Both Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) and Congressman Greg Steube (R-FL) also support the bill. Moreover, in 2018, the Florida legislature passed year-round DST. However, the legislation requires a change in the federal statutes.
“Last year, Florida lawmakers were the first in the nation to vote to make Daylight Saving Time permanent in our home state,” Buchanan said. “We should follow their lead at the national level to allow them to move forward with this change and ensure that Florida and the rest of the nation are on the same page year-round.”
Currently, only two states (thus far) do not observe Daylight Saving Time, they are Arizona and Hawaii; both states opted out in the mid-’60s. Also, a handful of U.S. territories don’t observe Daylight Saving Time because of the ample sunshine associated with these territories throughout the year.
Another state that’s reevaluating whether to drop out of Daylight saving is Massachusetts currently campaigning for the Commonwealth, and possibly the rest of New England and New York, to move into the Atlantic time zone.
The legislation would only apply to those states currently participating within the Daylight Saving Time program, which extends for 8-months out of the year. Standard time takes up the other 4-months from November to March.
The bill would simply negate the need for Americans to change their clocks twice a year. Many studies have shown that making DST permanent could benefit the economy and the country.
“Studies have shown many benefits of a year-round Daylight Saving Time, which is why Florida’s legislature overwhelmingly voted to make it permanent last year,” said Rubio. “Reflecting the will of the State of Florida, I’m proud to reintroduce this bill to also make Daylight Saving Time permanent nationally.”
The Rubio/ Buchanan bill outlined several advantages to making Daylight Saving Time permanent nationwide including:
- Reducing highway auto accidents because of extended daylight hours, increases visibility, according to the American Journal of Public Health and the Journal of Safety Research.
- Reduce risk for cardiac issues, stroke and seasonal depression, which increase after the time change
- Reduce the number of robberies by 27%, according to a 2015 Brookings Institution because of additional daylight in the evenings
A poll also conducted by the U.S. Department of Transportation indicated that Americans liked Daylight Saving Time because “there is more light in the evenings, and you can do more in the evenings.”
Another poll conducted in New South Wales, Australia, in 1976 surveyed almost 3 million individuals and found that the primary reason they liked Daylight Saving Time was simply because people like to enjoy long summer evenings, and those other reasons such as energy conservation was merely a rationalization of something already positive.
Most of us probably wonder how Daylight Saving Time came about. It was first conceived by Benjamin Franklin during his stay as an American delegate in Paris in 1784.
However, the common misconception is that Franklin was somehow responsible for actually advocating the scheme because of a humorous essay he wrote titled “An Economical Project,” and the benefits derived from daylight versus artificial light.
William Willett is the gentleman who actually concocted this scheme in a pamphlet titled “Waste of Daylight” advancing his theory of manipulating time by 20 minutes on each of four Sundays in April.