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What permanent daylight saving time would mean for New England?

What permanent daylight saving time would mean for New England?
Alarm clock on a background of autumn foliage. Concept time, fallen leaves, season. Copy space

An expert assures that they are not thinking about the mental impact that going to school without sunlight could have on the little ones.

We can all agree that it would be nice to eliminate the harmful side effects of moving the clock back and forth twice a year.

Every March, we see an increase in car accidents, workplace injuries, and even an increase in heart attacks, all related to us “jumping forward” and losing an hour of sleep. Those factors and more led the US Senate to pass legislation Tuesday that would make daylight saving time permanent.

Daylight saving time is defined as a period between spring and fall when clocks in most parts of the country are set one hour ahead of standard time. The Americans changed their clocks for the last time on Sunday. Standard time lasts about four months in most parts of the country.

How would permanent daylight saving time work?

The bipartisan bill, called the Sunshine Protection Act, would ensure that Americans no longer have to change their clocks twice a year. The measure would essentially eliminate standard time, which is what many states switch to during the winter months.

In the United States, daylight saving time lasts a total of 34 weeks, from early to mid-March through early November in states that observe it. Under the bill, daylight saving time would no longer end in November.

How would the change affect sunrises and sunsets in Massachusetts?

Massachusetts residents are used to the sun setting shortly after 4 p.m. in December, but that would, of course, change with permanent daylight saving time,

Here are some of the new super late sunrise times we’d see if the new bill becomes law:


Thanksgiving — 7:44 am

Christmas Morning — 8:11 am

Valentine’s Day: 7:42 am

Our most recent new sunrise would be at 8:13 am, which would occur from December 30 to January 3. If you think it’s late, Minot North Dakota would have sunrise at 9:35 am

The other side of the coin is that we would never have those dreary 4:30 pm sunsets. In fact, our new earliest sunset would be at 5:11 pm which would occur from December 4th to December 13th.

The bottom line: Due to our northern latitude, there will be a lot of darkness during the winter no matter what. If we stay on DST, it will mean kids will be waiting for the school bus in the dark even after 8am, but it will also mean there won’t be total darkness at 5pm when many people leave work to go home.

Why make the change?

According to Reuters, at least 30 states have introduced legislation to end the practice of changing the time every year, with Rep. Frank Pallone citing a study that suggested 71% of Americans favor ending the practice of changing the time every year. year.

Supporters of the bill, including co-author Senator Marco Rubio, said giving children an extra hour of sunlight after school will allow for safer trips home, more time outdoors and other health benefits. . He also argued that there would be economic benefits to such a change.

Members of Congress have long been interested in the potential benefits and costs of daylight saving time since it was first adopted as a war measure in 1942. The proposal will now go to the House, where the Committee on Energy and Commerce had a hearing to discuss possible legislation last week.

Pallone, the committee’s chairman, agreed in his opening statement at the hearing that it is “time we stop changing our clocks.” But he said he was undecided on whether daylight saving time or standard time is the way to go.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine has been calling for a permanent switch to standard time for years, saying “there is ample evidence of negative short-term consequences of seasonal time changes.”

The AASM warned that “making daylight saving time permanent overlooks potential health risks that can be avoided by establishing permanent standard time.”

“Current evidence best supports the adoption of year-round standard time, which better aligns with human circadian biology and provides distinct public health and safety benefits,” the group said in a statement.

But the Department for Transportation says that daylight saving time has a number of benefits. The DOT website highlights the following:

  • Save energy. During daylight saving time, the sun sets an hour later at night, reducing the need for electricity for lighting and appliances. People tend to spend more time outdoors in the evenings during daylight saving time, which reduces the need for electricity in the home. Also, because sunrise is very early in the morning during the summer months, most people will wake up after the sun has already risen, which means they turn on fewer lights in their homes.
  • Save lives and prevent traffic injuries. During daylight saving time, more people commute to and from school and work and run errands during the day.
  • Reduce crime. During daylight saving time, more people go about their business during the day than at night, when more crime occurs.


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