THE ISSUE: Congress looks to permanently switch to daylight savings time.
OUR OPINION: Permanent daylight savings time is best move.
Currently, most states change their clocks twice a year, Florida being one of them.
Last year, Florida lawmakers voted to make daylight savings time (DST) permanent. However, the change needed federal approval. To that end, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio reintroduced a bill to Congress that would move the U.S. to permanent DST in March 2020. Initial returns, show the bill has bipartisan support.
We approve of the change and urge Congress to follow through on the move.
Switching back and forth twice a year is an unnecessary inconvenience for Americans and some studies show it has detrimental affects on people.
During the fall back change in November, we suddenly lose an hour of evening daylight, which has three adverse affects.
First, less day and afternoon light can contribute to depression.
Second, the change disrupts our circadian rhythm and causes us to be more tired, less productive and more prone to illness.
Finally, the sudden change leads to more accidents as people are more tired and those who were leaving work in the daylight are now driving through rush-hour traffic in the dark.
There are some additional perks to permanently DST.
With more daylight, people will be spending more time participating in daytime activities. Additionally, a Brookings Institute study argued that robberies fell by 7% with the additional daylight, as thieves tend to do their work at night.
In fairness, parent-teacher associations may be opposed to the change because as the days get shorter during fall and winter, children are going to school in darkness. We recognize that danger, but also realize that if DST is year-round, schedules can be changed to prevent that, especially for younger students.
We would like to see the constant changing of clocks end and a permanent switch to daylight savings time this coming March 2020.