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OUR VIEW: We hate daylight saving time. And you should, too.
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OUR VIEW: We hate daylight saving time. And you should, too.

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Fall Back Daylight Saving Ends

How divided and combative is Congress?

They can’t even come together to vote on something non-partisan that the majority of American citizens have indicated they want.

We set our clocks back as we mark the conclusion of yet another season of daylight saving time. At 2 a.m. the morning of Sunday, Nov. 7, clocks should be changed to say 1 a.m.

Were you expecting something else? Did you think the clock flipping had been eliminated? You’re not alone.

Illinois legislators voted last year to eliminate the spring ahead-fall back plan. Dozens of other states around the country have made the same declaration.

Unfortunately, time is, with very few exceptions, in federal control. Illinois’ vote, along with those of other states, was largely ceremonial. When the U.S. Congress changes the law, Illinois and the other states will be free of the anachronistic tradition.

The use of daylight saving dates to World War I and coal collection and has been abandoned and deployed for a number of reasons since. Our current system has been law since 1966.

Science and economics continue to make strong cases to never move the clocks. Productivity on the job is lost for days after the time changes in either direction. Heart attacks and strokes rise. Traffic accidents increase, especially in the spring when drivers have lost an hour of sleep. In the fall, people sometimes adjust imperfectly to commuting home in the dark; pedestrians and bicyclists wearing dark clothing are at risk of being hit by inattentive motorists.

Fewer than 40 percent of countries in the world currently apply daylight saving time switches, although more than 140 countries had implemented it at some point.

There are plenty of things with which legislators must deal, and this twice-a-year inconvenience is certainly less important than infrastructure, COVID-19 relief, or health care. But it also seems like an issue easily overcome with just a bit of thought.

But Congressional efforts in 2018 and 2019 died in committee, and it appears the 2021 effort faces the same fate. Prognosis group Skopos Labs gives the 2021 bill a mere 3% chance at becoming law.

So it’s another fall with the same routine. Set those clocks back this weekend, and don’t be surprised if someone you know forgets it and is confused. Get out your vehicle guide to figure out how to adjust that pesky clock. Enjoy the extra hour of sleep or productivity. And prepare to do again set those clocks ahead in spring while Congress dawdles instead of providing what the electorate desires.

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