No more clock fiddling in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania!
Republican state Representative Russ Diamond, the primary sponsor that brought Pennsylvania’s popular medipot law legalizing medical marijuana is back at another go to get rid of Daylight Saving Time. (It’s S-A-V-I-N-G not S-A-V-I-N-G-S).
In what he predicts will be another example of popular legislation that people across parties can get behind, he has placed Pennsylvania firmly in the waters of progressiveness.
Think about it for a second.
With no more shifting of clocks backwards and forwards, you will never have your sleep schedule interrupted by the legislature. This of course will vary depending on whether you are a cross-state commuter or not, in which case you would need to observe it if your employer continues to observe it if you commute out of PA, but you would no longer need to observe DST if you live in New Jersey and commute to PA, provided your employer makes the switch, as Diamond predicts it will do.
For organizations like schools, the shifting of clocks backwards and forwards an hour could easily be fixed by shifting the school day :30 ahead forwards, or backwards, as administrators or parents wish to average-out the same thing DST accomplished, provided that a school is trying to follow the work-day schedules of their parents.
The benefits of eliminating DST and the disruption of lost sleep by shifting clocks forwards an hour (where everyone potentially loses one possible hour they could use to sleep) has rather measurable effects. Further, most of the myths of why DST is even necessary is easily debunked, with this:
It turns out that DST is an archaic public policy from our past that we can easily solve in a world where we have flexible time, set-your-own-schedules and 4-shift employment. Some people have jobs where they never see the sun at all except on weekends, like people who work graveyard shifts.
But it’s not just creative-classers with their teleconferences and work-from-home jobs who are unbothered by clock fiddling. DST plays a terrible havoc with many people who have jobs on the low-side of the payscale, with inflexible employers. DST is terribly disruptive to many different types of workers, and it doesn’t even benefit the people that are often blamed for DST’s existence in the US: farmers.
Farmers follow the schedules of their livestock and produce, which follows the sun, and no cultivated crop or animal a farmer tends has any idea when DST is coming or when DST is leaving. It’s disruptive to animals who expected to be fed and have to wait an extra hour for food as well as animals who are disturbed in their sleep because the staff have to finish their rounds so they can interact with other businesses (such as the vet) who follow DST and keep set appointments.
If DST doesn’t actually do anything for the people we’ve always thought Daylight Saving Time was meant for, and it is mostly disruptive, why have it at all? And that’s where Representative Diamond thinks we should change.
It certainly would be disruptive for the states that border Pennsylvania, especially for AMTRAK, where time tables on the Northeast Corridor would no longer be contained with within one nice time zone, at least not for 6 months out of the year while New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, Connecticut and Massachusetts are observing it. (In AMTRAK’s case, it has to maintain departure and arrival times on many of its east/west routes which cross time zones anyway)
It would also be disruptive for makers of computer operating systems, such as Microsoft, Google, Apple, RedHat and others. All these companies have to maintain complicated tables not just of time zones in the United States, but exactly when each and every part of the United States enters and leaves Daylight Saving Time. And not just for the USA, but every nation on the globe. This turns out to be a huge complicated mess that constantly needs updating.
Here’s a map of all the world’s time zone oddities in all their complicated glory:
While Pennsylvania would start off as being weird for 6 months out of the year for refusing to change its clocks, it certainly would immediately impact the large number of Pennsylvania workers who actually live in other states like New Jersey, Delaware, Ohio and Maryland–who would not have to observe DST. Software makers would need to issue an software update to offer additional time zones which ignore DST, and users already select which time zone region they wish to follow on their own computer. It’s as simple as that.
The knock-on effect in states like New Jersey and Delaware of having so many residents of those states opting to no longer observe DST on a personal basis would have a very significant visual impact: auto traffic.
When New Jersey shifts its clocks forward an hour to enter Daylight Saving Time, workers who live in New Jersey would take one hour longer to get out of their homes and go to work. This would shift traffic patterns to the bridges entering Pennsylvania one hour later than normal for residents who stay put in their states. When New Jersey leaves Daylight Saving Time and re-enters Standard Time to join the rest of us normal people, it goes back to what it was before.
It’s quite possible for 6 months out of the year, traffic on 202 from Delaware and the AC Expressway would spread further out and commuting times would start earlier and end longer while traffic flow improves during the summer as workers fan their work schedules out between local residents leaving their homes earlier than commuting residents who are heading into Pennsylvania where the clocks are one hour behind in Standard Time. If the summertime benefit of local commuters in New Jersey interacting less on the roads with residents commuting out of the state is large and noticeable, New Jersey residents could actually opt to not follow Pennsylvania in order to keep the summertime oddity of having better traffic flow near the states border areas.
So… do you think we can do it? Do you think New Jersey and Delaware will also quit the clock fiddling?
Diamond has assembled quite an extensive Googling for research on the topic, which I’ll put on the bottom for you to look at, below.
From Russ Diamond:
For those with limited time, I recommend a short – but entertaining – introductory YouTube video on this topic: https://youtu.be/84aWtseb2-4
Economic Cost/Lost Productivity
Chmura | SleepBetter Lost-Hour Economic Index
are the findings of Chmura Economics & Analytics in a study
entitled “Estimating the Economic Loss of Daylight Saving Time for U.S.
Metropolitan Statistical Areas” commissioned by the Carpenter Co.
Daylight Saving Time Costs Nation $1.7 Billion: News: The Independent Institute
WILLIAM F. SHUGHART II is a Senior Fellow at the Independent Institute and Professor in Public Choice at Utah State University.
More Economic Impact Articles
16 Ways Daylight Saving Could Affect Your Health, According to Science
16 Ways Daylight Saving Could Affect Your Health, According to Science
The sleep disturbance of DST can take a toll on your body and wreak havoc on your internal clock.
Science: Thousands of People Will Die This Weekend Because of Daylight Saving Time
Science: Thousands of People Will Die This Weekend Because of Daylight Saving Time | Inc.com
first of those is the cost of the change in human lives. Yes, that’s
right. Daylight saving time seems like a tiny thing, but according to
rigorous studies, it’s actually a killer.
Increased Accident Rates
Increased Heart Attack & Stroke Rates
Increased Workplace Injuries
Increased Cluster Headaches/Migraines
Representative Russ Diamond
102nd Legislative District