Science

“Darkness kills,” Advocates of Permanent Daylight Saving Time Tell Congress

Days before most Americans reset their clocks, a congressional committee is considering changes to daylight Saving Time,

The House Energy Subcommittee on Consumer Protection heard testimony Wednesday from health experts, some of whom urged Congress to pass a new law keeping daylight saving time in effect permanently.

Biennial shifting of clocks was initially implemented in the US in the early 20th century to conserve energy and resources, requiring most Americans to set clocks one hour earlier than standard time between early spring and late autumn. are required to do. In 2007, Congress extended daylight savings by an additional four weeks each year.

But the daylight saving system is unpopular with many Americans and has prompted a series of new state and federal legislative proposals to replace or eliminate the program.

“Daylight saving time has benefits and costs. Growing public interest in this topic and action at the state level brings us here today,” said subcommittee chair Rep. Jan Shakowski, a Democrat from Illinois. “Some argue that when we move, and lose an hour of sunlight in the morning, it affects our health, school children going to school, and even traffic safety. “

Some versions of the new law will require daylight savings to be in place throughout the year. Will give more latitude to other states to exit the system.

University of Washington professor Steve P. Calendrillo testified that Americans experience less security risk when sunset is pushed to later afternoon or evening.

“Simply put, the darkness kills. And the darkness of the evening is far more deadly than the darkness of the morning,” Calendrillo told the committee. “Evening rush hour is twice as deadly as morning hours for a variety of reasons – far more people are on the road, more alcohol is in the bloodstream of drivers, people are in a hurry to go home, and more children enjoy outdoor, unsafe play. are taking.”

American Academy of Sleep Medicine researcher Dr. Beth Marlowe tells panel her organization’s survey of Americans found 63% support for ending the season time shifting, He cites a review published in a 2020 Commentary in the Journal of the American Medical Association that looked at strokes, heart attacks, and teens’ sleep loss across time shifts.

Members of the House subcommittee said the issue is a common source of criticism from voters. “This is a topic that I continue to hear from my constituents about,” said Florida Republican Representative Gus Billirakis. “While this transition may be easy for devices, it is not so much for our bodies. Humans are not as easy as turning a clock backwards,” he said. “The toll on our bodies can be serious.”

Rape. Fred Upton, a Michigan Republican who previously headed the House Energy Committee that approved the extension of daylight saving time more than a decade ago, said he wanted to give states the right to opt for seasonal timing changes. support. Upton said the system “saves lives”, explaining that on Halloween, there’s more day for kids in and around the streets. At the very least, Upton said he would like to adjust the clock change schedule every year from early Sunday to early Saturday morning.

CBS News reviewed several pending legislative proposals to overhaul or adjust the system. There are several proposals with similar language to make daylight saving a year-round system. A proposal by GOP Representative Ralph Norman of South Carolina would require the Government Accountability Office to produce a study on the consequences of changes to year-round daylight savings, if such a law is enacted.

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