Efforts to Eliminate Daylight Saving Time Have Spread Nationwide

Daylight Savings first originated in Germany during World War I to save electricity, and the UK quickly followed their lead. When Daylight Savings was first adopted in the U.S., it was part of a war policy, also implemented during the First World War to save fuel.The U.S. ceased to recognize Daylight Savings after the war and didn’t adopt it again until the Second World War.

1966 was the first year that Daylight Saving Time (DST) became a nationwide, peacetime policy that all states had to use unless the entire state opted out. To date, Arizona and Hawaii are the only two states that do not recognize DST. However, this may soon change.

Arizona tried DST for one year in the 1960s, but quickly eliminated it because it was so unpopular. Only the Navajo territories that lie within the state observe DST. Hawaii days are typically so long that they also do not participate in DST.

In November 2014, Texas State Rep. Dan Flynn drafted a bill that would do away with DST. Flynn argues that there are safety concerns that come along with DST, including sending children to school when it is still dark.

Utah is also considering this shift. Two lawmakers have introduced separate bills to eliminate DST. They maintain that it will help students be more attentive in class and help attract more visitors to the state’s tourist attractions during the summer by providing more sunlight in the mornings.

Nebraska State Senator Ken Schilz believes the issue is a medical one that affects a person’s psychology and sleep for weeks after the hours change. Illinois State Rep. Bill Mitchell believes that a standard should be adopted to always have the extra sun hours in the evening.

According to Mitchell:

“There are several studies that demonstrate the health benefits and improved economic activity associated with daylight saving time. With more daylight in the evening hours, people will go out and shop. In terms of crime, there’s less crime because there are more daylight hours in the evening.” – Illinois State Rep. Bill Mitchell

Missouri State Rep. Delus Johnson also wants to get rid of DST in his state. However, he is encountering push back from the Missouri Broadcasters Association, who argue that it would disadvantage their state with live broadcasts separate from the rest of the country — particularly sporting events.

Oregon and Washington are following these other states, making this a nationwide trend.

Fewer states see a benefit in the practice and more studies are pointing to the negative effects of “spring forward” and “fall back,” which range from an increase in accidents to safety concerns for children.

However, a piecemeal elimination of DST across the nation could create confusion not only from broadcasting networks, but from those who travel frequently between states.

Argentina, another large country in the Western hemisphere, had several provinces opt out of DST in 2008, but the nation found the unevenness confusing and untenable. Eventually the rest of the nation got rid of DST. Is America next?

Should the U.S. eliminate Daylight Saving Time?

Photo Credit: HomeStudio / shutterstock.com