It’s that time of year again. Twice a year we change our clocks in accordance with Daylight Savings Time. On March 10th, we will once again switch our clocks an hour earlier so that we can spend more time in the daylight and less time in the dark. How nice will it be to walk out of work at five or six in the evening and find that the world is no longer shrouded in darkness.
In a March 7th article from the International Business Times, advocates are saying that if a move forward could make March more bearable for all, the question becomes what if we sprang forward but never fell back. Darren Soto, a Florida state senator filed SB 734, which will put the Sunshine State on Daylight Savings Time all year around.
“That’s a couple more rides at the park, another hour at the beach, and more folks enjoying restaurants,” says Senator Soto. His district encompasses the Walt Disney World resorts.
What does a state that runs on DST all year around mean? For a state like Florida, it would improve their tourism in winter and improve the quality of life for Floridians. Imagine, no one needs to suffer Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as Winter Depression, because of a few more hours of daylight. Additionally, it is projected that DST saves 3.4% of electricity during peak hours.
It’s hard to object to a few more hours of daylight in the winter. DST was originally meant to give farmers more time to work their land, but in this modern age, farmers know they don’t need a clock to tell them when to start working. Historically, the primary concern has been schools. Citizens are concerned about students waiting for the bus or walking to school early in the morning. Soto says that the bill would allow schools to adjust their schedules around the extended daylight hours.
While most of the feedback he has received for this bill has been positive, he does not expect it to pass anytime soon. Other senators have had problems trying to move their state onto DST permanently. Colorado tried and failed in 2000 and 2011. While it was rejected both times, the idea will be put to a referendum in 2014 for Colorado citizens to vote on.
The idea of having extra daylight all the time is an attractive concept, but regardless of what might lie ahead on a senate floor, remember to switch your clocks forward one hour on March 10th at 2 a.m.