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Daylight Saving: It’s almost time to spring forward

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Get ready to “spring forward.” Come Sunday morning at 2 AM we’ll lose an hour of sleep as the clock jumps forward as we enter Daylight Saving Time.

Surprisingly, the US Department of Transporation is the government agency in charge of the twice-a-year time swap.

“The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) oversees the Nation’s time zones and the uniform observance of Daylight Saving Time.  The oversight of time zones was assigned to DOT because time standards were first instituted by the railroad industry,” the agency says on their website.

 Why do we even observe DST?

According to the Department’s website, there are several reasons.

“It saves energy,” they write.

“During Daylight Saving Time, the sun sets one hour later in the evenings, so the need to use electricity for household lighting and appliances is reduced.  People tend to spend more time outside in the evenings during Daylight Saving Time, which reduces the need to use electricity in the home.  Also, because the sunrise is very early in the morning during the summer months, most people will awake after the sun has already risen, which means they turn on fewer lights in their homes.

“It saves lives and prevents traffic injuries.  During Daylight Saving Time, more people travel to and from school and work and complete errands during the daylight.

“It reduces crime.  During Daylight Saving Time, more people are out conducting their affairs during the daylight rather than at night, when more crime occurs.”

Will Utah ever ditch the switch?

The short answer is not for a while.

SB59, sponsored by Sen. Wayne Harper (R) fromTaylorsville, which would make the switch permanent passed both bodies of Utah’s legislature.

The bill is currently awaiting the signature of Governor Gary Herbert, and even if that happens, the United States Congress would have to approve the change.

Another aspect of the measure that could take some time is that the bill requires 4-other Western states need to pass their own laws making the change permanent.

Similar legislation is also being considered in New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada and Idaho.

See also:

Utah House approves making DST permanent

Utah lawmakers urge Congress to end DST