Daylight Saving ends Sunday; is this the last time?
Published 12:00 pm Saturday, November 5, 2022
A Senate-passed bill will make this Sunday the final time Mississippians set their clocks back to end Daylight Saving Time.
If the U.S. House of Representatives passes it and the president signs it, that is.
The Senate passed the Sunshine Protection Act in March 2022, with original co-sponsorship from Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith of Brookhaven. The bill was sent to the House for discussion and a vote, but has not yet been brought to the floor for such. If it does pass the House, it will be sent to the desk of President Joe Biden for his signature, and become law.
The bill will then make Daylight Saving Time the permanent standard time, effective Nov. 5, 2023. This means Mississippians will still set their clocks back one hour this Sunday, Nov. 6, 2022, and will move them forward one hour in the spring of 2023 to begin DST for the final time.
“The public safety improvements, economic benefits and the wellbeing of the American people are all excellent and credible reasons to embrace year-long Daylight Saving Time,” Hyde-Smith said in March. “I know the agricultural sector in Mississippi and across the nation desires this change. I believe the Sunshine Protection Act would give us an immediate and long-term boost after a terrible pandemic year and a very dark winter.”
Potential effects of making DST permanent for the nation:
- Benefits the economy. According to a study by JP Morgan Chase, which found that there is a drop in economic activity of 2.2% – 4.9% when clocks move back.
- Benefits the agricultural economy, which is disrupted disproportionately by biannual changes in time by upsetting the synergy between farmers’ schedules and their supply chain partners.
- Reduces car crashes and car accidents involving pedestrians. Better aligning daylight hours to drivers’ standard work hours’ increases visibility, according to the American Journal of Public Health and the Journal of Safety Research. Also reduces the number of vehicle collisions with wildlife by 8-11% by shifting normal traffic patterns to an hour off from nocturnal wildlife’s behavior.
- Benefits health by reducing risks for cardiac issues, stroke and seasonal depression.
- Reduces childhood obesity and increases physical fitness. According to studies published by the International Journal Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity and the Journal of Physical Activity and Health, children see an increase in physical activity during DST. The Journal of Environmental Psychology found that DST increased pedestrian activity by 62% and cyclists activity by 38% because of additional daylight.
- Reduces the number of robberies by 27%, according to a 2015 Brookings Institution because of additional daylight in the evenings.
- Reduces energy usage. A 2008 study by the U.S. Department of Energy found that during the four weeks the United States extended daylight savings from the 2005 law, there were savings of about 0.5% in electricity per day. Later studies have also shown that the energy savings are minimal but a small savings does occur.
The act will not alter time zones, change the total number of hours of sunlight per day, or mandate states and territories that do not observe DST suddenly be forced to do so.