March 02, 2023

Wyden, Colleagues Reintroduce Bill to Make Daylight Saving Time Permanent

Washington, D.C.U.S. Senator Ron Wyden and Senate colleagues from both parties today reintroduced legislation that would end the antiquated and annoying practice of changing clocks twice a year.

“It’s time to put a stop to the twice-a-year time-change madness. Science and common sense show that more year-round daylight would improve our health, help kids spend a bit more time enjoying outdoor after school activities, and encourage folks to support local businesses while on a sunny stroll in their communities,” Wyden said. “I’m all in to get the Sunshine Protection Act passed into law at last.”

The bipartisan Sunshine Protection Act, if enacted, would apply to states that currently participate in DST, which Oregon and most states observe for eight months out of the year. Standard Time, from November to March, is only observed for four months out of the year. The bill would simply negate the need for Americans to change their clocks twice a year, and could have benefits for the nation’s health and economy.

Potential effects of making Daylight Saving Time permanent include the following:

-        Reduce car crashes and car accidents involving pedestrians: better aligning daylight hours to drivers’ standard work hours’ increases visibility, according to the American Journal of Public Health and the Journal of Safety Research. Also reduce the number of vehicle collisions with wildlife by 8 – 11 percent by shifting normal traffic patterns to an hour off from nocturnal wildlife’s behavior.

-        Reduce risk for cardiac issues, stroke and seasonal depression.

-        Reduce the number of robberies by 27 percent, according to a 2015 Brookings Institution because of additional daylight in the evenings.

-        Benefit the economy, according to a study by JP Morgan Chase, which found that there is a drop in economic activity of 2.2 percent – 4.9 percent when clocks move back.

-        Reduces childhood obesity and increases physical fitness. According to studies published by the International Journal Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity and the Journal of Physical Activity and Health, children see an increase in physical activity during DST. The Journal of Environmental Psychology found that DST increased pedestrian activity by 62% and cyclists activity by 38% because of additional daylight.

-        Benefit the agricultural economy, which is disproportionately disrupted by biannual changes in time by upsetting the synergy between farmers’ schedules and their supply chain partners.

-        Reduce energy usage. A 2008 study by the U.S. Department of Energy found that during the four weeks the U.S. extended daylight savings from the 2005 law, there were savings of about 0.5 percent in electricity per day. Later studies have also shown that the energy savings are minimal but a small savings does occur.

The legislation was led by U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, R-Fla. Alongside Wyden, the bill was cosponsored by U.S. Senators James Lankford, R-Okla., Alex Padilla, D-Calif., Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., Ed Markey, D-Mass., Bill Hagerty, R-Tenn., Tina Smith, D-Minn., Rick Scott, R-Fla., Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Martin Heinrich, D-N.M.

The text of the bill is here.

A bill summary is here.