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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.

Editorial: Relic of another time

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press
Monday, March 13, 2017 05:48 am
Welcome to another adventure in daylight saving time. We trust nobody forgot to set the clock ahead an hour on Saturday night, and we hope everybody is over that initial lack of sleep. The move into DST this year was once again accompanied by the whiny rants of the “Indiana should be on Central time, not Eastern time” crowd.  This state is the westernmost state in the Eastern zone, our kids shouldn’t be going to school in the dark, we’d see prime time network TV shows an hour earlier and blah, blah, blah.

But this year there was something new, too: a rising chorus of voices demanding to scrap the whole DST scheme, which makes more sense to us.

The case for daylight saving time has been getting weaker in recent years. During the 1970s energy crisis, a good case was made that DST would save energy. But dozens of studies have shown this not to be the case. Furthermore, there have been health consequences.

The suffering of the spring time change begins with the loss of an hour of sleep, writes Ben Steverman at bloomberg.com: “That might not seem like a big deal, but researchers have found it can be dangerous to mess with sleep schedules. Car accidents, strokes, and heart attacks spike in the days after the March time change. It turns out that judges, sleep deprived by daylight saving, impose harsher sentences.”

The problem with changing things lies with, naturally, the federal government. Washington will let states adopt or not adopt DST. But it won’t allow a state to adopt permanent DST. And states are reluctant to go off DST because that would put them out of step with the vast majority of states.

When Indiana finally adopted DST in 2006, then-Gov. Mitch Daniels cited the great energy savings and economic boom to come, but of course they never did. The real reason we jumped in, though, was simply to stop being made fun of. With us out of the picture, Hawaii and Arizona are now the only two states left without DST. They’re starting to look like the smart ones.

Daylight saving time is a relic of another era. It’s time we stop fooling with our clocks twice a year. Certainly the federal government has much bigger issues on its plate, but this would be a pretty easy fix to make.

 

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