Daylight savings has Americans turning the clock back one hour, this Sunday, Oct. 27th at 2 a.m. Most of us will have to again get used to driving to work or going to school in the dark, and having it be dark again before we sit down at the dinner table.
Senator Marco Rubio has sponsored the “Sunshine Protection Act” (SPA).
Rubio, with the support of President Trump, hope this is the last year that we will be “FALLing back and SPRINGing forward.”
The SPA bill states: Daylight Saving Time (DST) was enacted in the United States following Germany’s 1916 effort to conserve fuel during World War I and its period of observance has since been lengthened.
Originally mandated for six months, in 2005, Congress extended DST to begin the second Sunday in March and end the first Sunday in November.
As a result, the United States now enjoys EIGHT months of DST, and only four months of standard time (November-March).
Senator Rubio’s Sunshine Protection Act (SPA) would eliminate the changing of clocks to standard time for those four months. In sum, if enacted, we would not “fall back” in November and would enjoy a full year of DST, instead of only eight months.
This bill does not:
Alter or change time zones.
Change the amount of hours of sunlight.
Potential effects of making Daylight Saving Time permanent:
1. Reduces car crashes and car accidents involving pedestrians:
better aligning daylight hours to drivers’ standard work hours’ increases
visibility, according to the American Journal of Public Health and the Journal of Safety Research. Also reduces the number of vehicle collisions with wildlife by 8 – 11 percent by shifting normal traffic patterns to an hour off from nocturnal wildlife’s behavior.
2. Reduces risk for cardiac issues, stroke and seasonal depression.
3. Reduces the number of robberies by 27 percent, according to a 2015 Brookings Institution because of additional daylight in the evenings.
4. Benefits the economy, according to a study by JP Morgan Chase, which found that there is a drop in economic activity of 2.2 percent – 4.9 percent when clocks move back.
5. Reduces childhood obesity and increases physical fitness, according to studies, children see an increase in physical activity during DST. The Journal of Environmental Psychology found that DST increased pedestrian activity by 62% and cyclists activity by 38% because of additional daylight.
6. Benefits the agricultural economy, which is disproportionately disrupted by
biannual changes in time by upsetting the synergy between farmers’
schedules and their supply chain partners.
7. Reduces energy usage, a 2008 study by the U.S. Department of Energy found that during the 4 weeks the U.S.
extended daylight savings from the 2005 law, there were savings of about 0.5 percent in electricity per day. Later studies have also shown that the energy savings are minimal but a small savings does occur.