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Wyden tries again to make Daylight Saving Time permanent nationwide

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Says 'Sunshine Protection Act' would ease confusion, help health, economy

WASHINGTON (KTVZ) -- Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., reintroduced legislation Tuesday that would make Daylight Saving Time permanent across the country. 

“The Sunshine Protection Act takes a common-sense step to provide some much-needed stability for families in Oregon and across the nation,” Wyden said. “Springing forward and falling back year after year only creates unnecessary confusion while harming Americans’ health and our economy. Making Daylight Saving permanent would give folks an hour back of sunshine during the winter months when we need it most.”

The bipartisan legislation, 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 nation’s health and economy, Wyden said.

 Potential national effects of making Daylight Saving Time permanent:

  • Reduces 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 reduces 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.
  • Reduces risk for cardiac issues, stroke and seasonal depression.
  • Reduces the number of robberies by 27 percent, according to a 2015 Brookings Institution because of additional daylight in the evenings.
  • Benefits 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.
  • Benefits the agricultural economy, which is disproportionately disrupted by biannual changes in time by upsetting the synergy between farmers’ schedules and their supply chain partners.
  • Reduces energy usage, a 2008 study by the U.S. Department of Energy found that during the 4 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.

In addition to Wyden, the Sunshine Protection Act introduced by Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., is co-sponsored by Sens. James Lankford, R-Okla., Roy Blunt, R-Mo., Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., Rick Scott, R-Fla., and Ed Markey, D-Mass.

A one-page summary of the bill is available here.

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