GUEST COLUMN: Time is up on changing the clocks twice a year

For more than a century, Americans have changed their clocks twice a year.

The U.S. had daylight saving time as early as 1918, with the current federal policy – the Uniform Time Act – being enacted in 1966, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

As a result, most Americans move their clocks ahead by an hour in the warmer months so that it gets dark later and move their clocks back an hour in the fall.

All states except for Hawaii and Arizona, as well as several U.S. territories, follow daylight saving time.

Research has shown that this cumbersome practice has proven to have negative impacts.

Simply put, continuing to move our clocks forward and back each year can affect the safety and well-being of the public, hurt businesses and the economy.

When clocks move forward in the spring and move back in the fall, studies have shown that the transition can have a negative effect on sleep, productivity, concentration (on both work and in school), and general health.

While daylight saving time has been reported to save energy by having Americans turn on their lights later at night, studies have shown relatively little is actually saved during this period of time especially when we compare the costly effects on our health and the economy.

Recent estimates show millions of dollars are lost each year from decreases in workplace productivity during these transition periods.

Legislation I’ve introduced in the state Assembly would establish daylight saving time as the year-round standard of time in New York state (A.6443) in partnership with Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and pushes for repeal of the 1966 federal law.

To date, 19 other states have already enacted similar legislation supporting a permanent Daylight Standard Time.

It’s time for New York to follow suit with my legislation.

Angelo Santabarbara represents the 111th District in the New York State Assembly.

Categories: Guest Column, Opinion

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