Is Daylight Savings Time Ending Permanently? It's Complicated
Over the years many people throughout the world have grown accustomed to the time changes that occur each fall and spring. The practice of daylight savings time in the United States dates back to World War I and was used for practical energy-saving reasons.
Today most of the country still utilizes DST, but some Americans are wondering if the practice is outdated. A legislature to get rid of daylight savings time permanently has been proposed, but nothing has passed yet. Read on to learn more.
Daylight Savings Time, Explained
If you live in the United States then you’ve definitely heard of daylight savings time and probably know a little bit about it. However, you might be unaware of the history and purpose behind this practice.
Daylight savings time was first used in 1908 in Thunder Bay, Canada with the original purpose of saving energy and making better use of daylight, writes timeanddate.com.
Countries such as Germany and Austria then popularized the practice. Germany and Austria began using daylight savings time in 1916. In the midst of World War 1, these two countries needed to minimize the use of artificial light in order to save fuel for the war.
The United States also began using DST as a wartime practice in 1918. In fact, DST was actually originally called “war time,” writes to USA Today. The measure served to save fuel costs during WWI by adding an extra hour of sunlight to the day, according to the Library of Congress.
The US abandoned daylight savings time after WWI. However, the federal government reinstated the practice during WWII and the oil embargo crisis from 1973 to 1975. Daylight savings time as we know it in the US began with the Uniform Time Act of 1966.
However, this act gave states the option to not observe daylight savings time. Today only two states, Arizona and Hawaii, stay on standard time year-round. Additionally, the Navajo Nation and territories of the US such as American Samoa and Guam do not observe daylight savings time.
Is Daylight Savings Time Ending Permanently?
Talk of ending daylight savings time permanently has been circulating, but where did this all start? In recent years, state legislatures have considered hundreds of bills and resolutions to establish year-round daylight saving time as soon as the federal government allows, writes the National Conference of State Legislatures.
In 2023, at least 29 states have considered 75 pieces of legislation related to daylight saving time. During the same year, Senator Marco Rubio reintroduced the Sunshine Protection Act to the 118th Congress.
The Act would eliminate the changing of clocks to standard time for four months of the year. To put things simply, Americans would not “fall back” in November. The Sunshine Protection Act has been put forth before. In 2022 it passed in the Senate and died in the House.
According to USA Today, the 2023 version of that Act has remained idle as well, and there’s no reason to think it will fare better than in the previous year. To sum things up, the United States government has moved to get rid of DST, but it doesn’t seem likely to happen this year.
Proposed Benefits of the Sunshine Protection Act
You might be wondering why Senators such as Marco Rubio are pushing to end daylight savings time. While it’s impossible to know for sure the effects of ending this practice, some proposed benefits of the Sunshine Protection Act, according to Senator Rubio (.gov), are as follows:
- Reduction in car crashes and car accidents involving pedestrians
- Reduction in the risk of cardiac issues, stroke, and seasonal depression
- Decrease in the number of robberies by 27 percent
- Benefits to the economy
- Reduction in childhood obesity and increase in physical fitness
- Benefits to the agricultural economy
- Reduction in energy usage
When Does Daylight Savings Time End in 2023?
Daylight savings time begins on the second Sunday of March and ends on the first Sunday of November, according to the Congressional Research Service.
On Sunday, November 5, 2023, in the United States, clocks throughout most of the country will go back an hour and most Americans will gain an hour of sleep to accommodate for more daylight in the mornings.
This effectively ends Daylight Savings Time for the year. In March 2024 clocks will “spring forward” and we will lose an hour of sleep as daylight savings time will begin again.