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DOT to map out nation’s time zones after report shows no official map exists

<i>BTS/Office of Inspector General/USDOT</i><br/>Seen here is an unofficial time zone map. Federal transportation officials are working on creating an accurate map of the nation's time zones.
BTS/Office of Inspector General/USDOT
Seen here is an unofficial time zone map. Federal transportation officials are working on creating an accurate map of the nation's time zones.

By Gregory Wallace, CNN

A person may take knowing the local time for granted, but an official review revealed that there is no single, accurate map showing the nation’s time zones and local observance of Daylight Saving Time.

Federal transportation officials are now at work creating an accurate map of the nation’s time zones, according to a report by the inspector general for the Department of Transportation.

The issue came up, the inspector general’s office said, after the US Senate passed legislation this year to end the biannual time turn by making Daylight Saving Time permanent.

Investigators found no single map accurately showing the boundaries nationwide and said several sources of time information on the DOT website contained errors, such as inaccurately noting the time practices in some localities. For example, one map incorrectly identifies a deviation in Nevada: “Elko County, NV is shown as the location that changed time zones rather than the correct location, the city of West Wendover.”

“The official boundaries are narratively described [in federal regulations] with various types of coordinates and geographic features such as lines of longitude, State or county lines, and rivers,” the report stated.

Inspector general investigators presented the findings to the Department of Transportation. The department’s top lawyer, John Putnam, responded in a memo that officials are fixing the issues and are “developing an official DOT time zone map.”

The inspector general report said the Transportation Department is responsible for keeping the clock because of the importance of time to travel. It said the original five time zones have expanded to nine.

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