Daylight Saving Time Implementation In US Could End Thanks To New Senate Bill

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., has proposed a new bill that seeks to end the required time adjustment in the U.S. for daylight saving time. The lawmaker wants to make DST run for a full year instead of only eight months. 

The call comes as Americans again adjusted their clocks over the weekend due to DST. In most areas in the country, time moved forward on early Sunday when 2 am suddenly became 3 am.

Rubio said last week as he introduced the “Sunshine Protection Act” that he wants to end the biannual time changes from standard time to DST, the Washington Post reported Friday.

The senator noted that making DST the new “standard” for a year would help reduce car accidents, the risk for cardiac issues, stroke and seasonal depression, the number of robberies, childhood obesity and energy usage in the country. All of the changes are linked to additional daylight that would encourage people to spend more time outside and stay active.  

The anticipated changes in Rubio’s bill are also backed by some studies. 

A 2016 report showed that shifting to standard time in the fall contributed to a spike in diagnoses of depression, while another study in 2018 found an increase in heart attacks after people changed their clocks. These health issues were linked to disrupted sleep cycles. 

For public safety, a 2015 study highlighted that the extra daylight in the evening after the switch to DST led to lower crimes done during darker morning hours.

"[R]obbery rates didn't increase in the morning, even though those hours were darker - apparently, criminals aren't early risers," researchers said in the study. 

"Studies have shown many benefits of a year-round daylight saving time," Rubio said in a statement. 

The U.S. implemented daylight saving time following Germany that introduced the time adjustment during World War I in an effort to save energy. 

Critics have been describing DST as an artifact of a different era. To date, there is no evidence to prove that in the modern world DST could still help save energy, according to Matthew Kotchen, a Yale professor of economics.

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