Public weighs in on proposal to do away with daylight saving time

SALT LAKE CITY — It turns out one hour on the clock can spark hours, days and years of debate.

Utah could become the third state in the country to abandon the practice of springing forward and falling back each year in order to have more daylight in the warm months.

Right now, Arizona and Hawaii are the only states that don’t change the clock twice a year.

The legislature mandated a public discussion of the idea of abandoning daylight saving time and the debate came to the Clark Planetarium on Thursday morning. The Governor’s Office of Economic Development hosted a forum, asking the public to comment.

The response was largely in favor of abandoning daylight saving time and adopting standard time around the clock.

“We need to leave the time alone, there’s too many accidents,” said Ed Berenson of Provo, voicing a concern expressed by many that the early wake up times in spring cause health problems and car accidents.

But on the other side, several working fathers said they look forward to daylight saving time in order to have more time with their children outside in the evening.

The marketing Vice President for Lagoon Amusement park, Dick Andrew, said leaving daylight saving time behind would cost Utah’s economy.

“Speaking on behalf of the entertainment industry and the tourist industry, doing away with daylight saving time would be a major blow,” Andrew said.

Two state legislators were on hand, both Republicans. Rep. Rhonda Menlove sponsored the bill that mandated the discussion. Before it was amended, Menlove’s bill would have already switched the state to permanent standard time.

Menlove is not running for a new term. Rep. Lee Perry, who was also there, says he’ll take up the cause next year.

27 comments

  • Jack Duffy

    Where does Dick Andrews of Lagoon get this ludicrous idea that abolishing Daylight-Saving Time will hurt Utah’s tourism. Where is the data showing abolishing this inane practice has hurt Arizona and Hawaii?

  • dave

    meh im ok with the time change i enjoy the more time in the daylight in the warmer months. sure its just an hour but i have an appreciation for it.

    • Finny Wiggen

      Dave, were you under the impression that you would actually lose an hour? They are not actually talking about reducing the day to 23 hours… Forgive me, but I can’t resist.

      If you want the extra time, then stay up an hour later…. The day will still begin and end at the exact same moment, regardless of what the clock says. All that changing the time accomplishes is making me sleepy. Please, let’s do have some common sense, and stop doing this to ourselves.

      • Josh

        Dont’ be such an idiot. Even though we still get 24 hours.. if you work from 8:00 – 6:00 then daylight savings actually DOES give you an extra hour to recreate in daylight. The majority of ADULTS do not have the privilege to pick and choose when they get off from work. So.. yes.. Daylight Savings DOES actually give them an extra hour.

        I enjoy mountain biking, hiking, trail running, and recreating after work. If I don’t get off until 5:30-6:30 and the sun goes down at 7:45 – 8:00 I won’t have time to do that. But, under the current system I can enjoy my time outdoors after work.

        Many people who come to visit the state feel the same way. They would like to maximize their time in daylight when they are actually ABLE to.

        If you think that the problem stems from CHANGING times.. then we should stay on daylight savings all year round.

        However, that is also a dumb idea since 96% of the country participates on the DST schedule. Meaning that if you are doing business OUTSIDE of Utah – you must tell your clients, customers, and colleagues that we are on some arcane system of our own.. 2 hours behind typically but sometimes only 1 hour behind… it gets confusing for them.

        We should keep things as they are – if DST is going to be implemented full time or removed completely it should be done on a nationwide level.. not locally.

      • Finny Wiggen

        Josh, I am tempted to ignore your comment all together, given the obvious oversight in your logic… but I can’t resist pointing it out…

        If you like the later sunlight, then do one of two things:
        Either A) change your schedule… (yes, I know you are under the impression that this is impossible… but let’s be honest, it is not really that hard for 90% of us). or B) vote to go on permanent daylight savings time.

        ie being on daylight savings time does not require changing back to regular time…
        But why consider the obvious, when it is more fun to rant…

  • Mick14513

    Why can’t “Government” leave well-enough alone?
    This should be on the 2016 natioinal ballot!

  • kartmann

    The Lagoon guy’s concerns are valid. Mother Nature won’t change, but neither will humans. Work hours, school hours, business hours……none will change. Therefore, for practical purposes, an hour of daylight at the end of the day WILL be lost during summer months. That will have a huge effect.

    Since schedules will never change, I say we just make it “Daylight Savings Time” year round. I’d much rather have that extra hour AFTER work, instead of early in the morning. Clock time is an artificial concept anyway, so let’s make it work for us. Put the daylight at the most useful time. I’m sure Mother Nature won’t mind.

    • Jack Duffy

      Tourists who come to Utah won’t be working or attending school while they’re visiting. Construction workers in Arizona adjust their working hours around the varying daylight hours. Many places of employment have flexible hours. People could just work from 7 to 4 standard time rather than 8 to 5 DST and it will be the same.

      Year-round daylight saving time was tried in the mid- 1970s. It was an absolute disaster. It didn’t get light until 9 a.m. in January and more little children were getting killed on the way to school in the pre-dawn darkness. The governor of Florida even called a special session of the legislature to address the issue in light of the increase children’s deaths. Utah’s governor expressed these concerns in a letter to US Representative Wayne Owens. Daylight Saving Time is not worth endangering the life of one child.

      Utah is at the western edge of the time zone. Standard time would work better for us.

      • Josh

        MANY people have flexible schedules – but MOST do not.. It also impacts nationwide business in a negative way.

      • Josh

        The last part of my comment is meant to mean that it would make it difficult for businesses that operate beyond state lines to not be on the same DST system as the rest of the nation.

      • kartmann

        I’m willing to bet that the vast majority of people who are saying “DST is dumb, get rid of it” are the same people who complain that Utah’s liquor laws are “out of step with the rest of the country.”

        Basically, they’re against ANYTHING this state does, on general principle.

  • kartmann

    What I REALLY don’t understand is why some people seem to get so emotional about this. The current system works fine. I don’t even have any clocks that need to be changed anymore. They take care of themselves. What’s the big deal?

    Just because Arizona and Hawaii do it doesn’t mean we have to. What’s with the obsession with “being like them”? I really don’t care what time it is on Phoenix.

    • Jack Duffy

      The current system doesn’t work fine. It causes greater energy usage, aggravates sleep deprivation, robs us of romantic summer evenings, causes fireworks and outdoor pageants to begin too late, and it’s unnecessary because we’re on the western edge of the time zone.

      A 27 February 2008 Wall Street Journal article cited a UC Santa Barbara study showing residential electricity soared up to four percent in Indiana after DST was imposed on that state in 2007. Increased evening air conditioning use was the reason for the uptick. The study also finds that reduced evening lighting in March is offset by people using their heaters for a longer period of time on cool mornings.

      Another study out of Berkeley by Ryan Kellogg and Hendrik Wolff concludes that changing to daylight saving time earlier may use more energy because of increased demand when it’s dark in the morning. The authors studied an earlier springtime DST change in Australia prior to the 2000 Olympics.They question if this clock change saves energy like it used to because “the widespread adoption of air conditioning has altered intraday patterns of electricity consumption.”

      • kartmann

        Energy usage: Nonsense. People don’t change their A/C temperature based on what time it is. Mine is the same 24/7. And there is no reason why you can’t just change the time on your thermostat even if you DO have a programmable one.

        “I don’t WANT to stay up until 10 to see fireworks,” said no kid EVER.

        Romance: You can’t keep it in your pants an extra hour?

        People like it to be light later in the evening. I like that the sun sets at 9 pm this time of year. It would be depressing if 8 pm was the best we could do.

        How do people in Canada survive, where it gets dark a LOT later? They seem to muddle through OK. I’ve never heard a Canadian say, “Jeez, I wish it would get dark earlier, eh.”

      • kartmann

        The Berkeley guy is a loon. Does he grope around in the dark during summer evenings? No. He turns on his lights.

      • Jack Duffy

        People don’t adjust their A/C based on what the clock says, but the A/C kicks on or off based on the temperature. If it gets dark by 9:00 rather than 10:00, the temperature will drop an hour earlier saving on air conditioning costs.
        I don’t know where this “said no kid ever” is coming from. If Utah had the sense to leave clocks alone, rather than sheepishly following the federal government, the fireworks could begin at a more reasonable hour, making it better for those who have to get up early for work the next morning.
        I think the dark, dreary abyss of daylight-robbing mornings, particularly in the spring and fall are very depressing. If Utah stayed on standard time, I’d get up at 5:00 a.m. to enjoy the sunrise like I did when I lived in, and when I visit, Arizona. It’s as simple as that.
        And Utahns wouldn’t “muddle through” year-round standard time, they will enjoy every moment of it.

  • Bob

    The majority of Utahns would vote to abandon DST if given the chance. If DST is so good why don’t they spring forward 2 hours instead of just 1?

  • Jan Harmon

    I prefer to stay on standard time. It’s always a hassle to change times. My life stays really busy and it seems like I have more time on standard time. STANDARD TIME!!!!

      • Jack Duffy

        Yes exactly. You can take that clock, run it forward, backward, throw it in the air or slam it against the wall and there are still only so many hours in the day regardless of what it says. Playing with it does not create daylight.

      • Jack Duffy

        I have the perfect solution for all the Daylight-Saving advocates who want “extra daylight” after work. They should all work the 11 p.m. to 8 a.m. graveyard shift. That would give them nine hours of after-work daylight in the winter, and twelve hours in the summer. There you have it!

  • Lyn Chapman

    I don’t like DST at all!! It’s too much like bad jet lag twice a year that I am getting too old for. Let’s stay on standard time and change the batteries in our smoke detectors on New Years Day and July 4th. The way the DST schedule is now, we are changing the batteries after 8 months and then again after 4 months. How silly (and unsafe) is that…

    • kartmann

      Changing your smoke detector batteries twice a year is a waste of batteries. It’s a scam that the battery manufacturers came up with.

      Choose just one of your detectors and experiment by letting it go until it “chirps.” I guarantee it’ll be fine for at least 2 full years. And it works perfectly even when it starts chirping. It’s good to go until the chirping STOPS. Then it’s dead. Stop cluttering the landfill with dangerous chemicals.

  • Teacher

    I am a teacher and school counselor. I see the effects of DST at school. The teachers and students are less productive because their body clocks are trying to get use to the new time. Test scores are lower, work is less quality, students are half asleep. I am also a mother to a mild autistic child. I cannot tell you how difficult it is for an autistic child to have change in their life. Especially a change as huge as losing or gaining an hour. By the time she gets use to it, it has been six months and it’s time to get use to it all over again. 1 in 57 kids in Utah has autism. At least change it for these poor kids and parents.

  • Debra

    I don’t understand why we can’t just leave it at DST year round. It’s the changing back and forth that’s a problem. Winter days are short no matter what but it’s really nice to have long summer nights. During the 80s energy crisis we did that and it worked just fine, saves energy costs because we still benefit from it in summer.

    • Jack Duffy

      Year-round daylight saving time was tried in the mid- 1970s. It was an absolute disaster. It didn’t get light until 9 a.m. in January and more little children were getting killed on the way to school in the pre-dawn darkness. The governor of Florida even called a special session of the legislature to address the increase in deaths of children. Utah’s governor expressed these concerns in a letter to US Representative Wayne Owens. Daylight Saving Time is not worth endangering the life of one child.

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