Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Columns

March 14, 2014

DAVE BANGERT: A case for a daylight-saving time change

Return DST to pre-2007 April start and October end dates.

(Continued)

But this is less about Indiana or about straddling a natural break between Eastern and Central time zones as it is about just how long daylight-saving time is in play each year.

In 2007, as a result of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the start of daylight-saving time bumped from the first Sunday in April to the second Sunday in March. In the fall, daylight-saving time was extended a week, from the last Sunday in October to the first Sunday in November. (Until the mid-’80s, daylight-saving time didn’t start until the last Sunday in April.)

The argument was that shifting clocks to give more sunlight hours in the evening would conserve energy. Has that happened? Depends on who fields the question — which is a good way to say that it’s likely a wash.

It certainly opened up this Sunday evening, given the warmer temperatures and glorious sunset, for so many people itching to get outside. (Though, I imagine Tyson would be the first to tell you that the sun and atmosphere weren’t paying a lick of attention to the clock when those brilliant reds, golds and maroons splashed across the western horizon.)

Not in dispute is how the earlier time change turns the switch on the start of school days.

Under pre-2007 daylight-saving time rules, the first Monday would have brought a sunrise of 7:22 a.m. That’s an extra 46 minutes of daylight on the way to school, when compared to this Monday.

Those four weeks took the edge off the annual adjustment to the shift from morning to evening light, offering some dawn’s light to temper any lingering grogginess from losing an hour of sleep in the process of springing forward on Sunday morning.

Earlier this year, advocates for moving Indiana to the Central Time Zone lobbied the State Board of Education to join the cause. That sent eyes rolling among the media and in other circles: Haven’t we settled questions about time in Indiana?

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