Love it or hate it, Daylight Saving Time (DST) may finally become year-round as the U.S. Senate passed a bill unifying the United States under a single time standard for the year.
S. 263, introduced last week, passed the Senate by unanimous consent Tuesday afternoon. Known as the Sunshine Protection Act of 2021, the bill repeals section 3 of the Uniform Time Act of 1966 which created the two days each year when most Americans had to either set their clocks ahead or back one hour.
The measure now goes to the House for approval and if passed there to President Biden’s desk for signature.
This isn’t the first time the country has tried to make DST permanent. During World War II, the U.S. adopted “War Time” that kept the nation on Daylight Saving Time year-round. Then again in 1974, during that energy crisis, the United States began a two-year trial period of living on DST. Media magnification of accidents involving children during the darker morning hours led to an outcry to reverse the decision. Actual pre-dawn accidents in February had only increased by 2 over the year prior and afternoon crashes had seen a reduction. The change had also produced a 1% energy savings, but children carrying flashlights to the bus stop had turned public sentiment away. In August of 1974, an amendment to kill the experiment passed.
Other than no longer having to update the time on microwaves, some cars, and maybe an old wall clock, the effects of the change will be small. That fateful day in fall, when we currently add an hour of overnight sleep won’t happen. Winter mornings will be a bit darker than some are used to, but there might still be light when Americans get home from work during those shorter days. Ultimately, that’s the tradeoff. During Fall and Winter, the sun will rise and set an hour later (according to the clock) than it would have with the time change.
Oh, and we’ll never have to write another “remember to change your clocks” article again.
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