British Columbia

Daylight saving time: Should it be abolished?

A movement to abolish daylight saving time is picking up support south of the border, with one more state considering legislation to end the semi-annual time shift.

Would you rather keep it, abolish it, or make it permanent year-round?

Areas that use daylight saving time are marked in blue. Those that have used it in the past but stopped are in orange, while those that have never used it are in red. (Paul Eggert/Wikipedia)

A movement to abolish daylight saving time is picking up support south of the border, with one more state considering legislation to end the semi-annual time shift.

Oregon state Senator Kim Thatcher says she wants to give voters the say on whether to ditch daylight saving time for good. She put forward a motion to hold a state referendum on the practice of turning clocks forward in the spring and back in the fall.

"I think it is sort of an antiquated practice," said Thatcher — who cites recent studies that point to increases in the number of accident fatalities and health effects as reasons for abolishing the change.

Thatcher said she's had mixed reaction to the idea.

"There are some people who say, 'It's about time. Why are we still doing this?" and then there are others who say, 'Why are we wasting the legislature's time with such a thing?"

Other states consider changes

A similar bill was recently launched in Washington state by Republican Representative Elizabeth Scott, but it seems unlikely to pass, according to local media reports.

Other bills to either abolish daylight saving time or adopt it year-round have been proposed in Utah, New Mexico, Florida, Mississippi, Texas, South Dakota and Alaska.

In the spring, most of North America and Europe switches to daylight saving time by rolling clocks forward one hour. In the fall, clocks are rolled back an hour to switch back to standard time.

There are parts of Canada and the U.S. that don't make the switch, including most of Saskatchewan, parts of southeastern and northeastern B.C., and Arizona.

The rationale is that advancing clocks when the days are longer in the spring and summer gives people an extra hour of sunlight in evenings.

Later in the year, clocks are turned back to provide more light for people heading to work in the mornings.

The practice is not popular in agricultural communities, where many farmers say it disrupts their schedules too much.

For her part, Thatcher said she would prefer to stick to daylight saving time year-round because she likes having longer evenings that come with the switch in the spring, but she realizes that might not be possible.

She also said any changes would have to be carefully considered, because of the potential effect on business and travel to California and Washington, which share the same time zone.

VOTE | Should daylight saving time be abolished?


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