Here’s Why Keeping Daylight Saving in Massachusetts is a Terrible Idea
In 2022 the Senate approved this first step on the road to making the daylight saving time shift permanent. Am I the only one in Massachusetts who thinks this is a terrible idea?
The proposal, known as the Sunshine Protection Act, was approved in March of 2022 and seeks to make daylight saving time permanent. The proposal now needs to pass in the House and be signed by President Biden before it could officially become law.
What Exactly Does Keeping Daylight Saving Time Permanently Mean?
If this proposal is enacted into law it would mean Massachusetts residents, along with the rest of the country, would never again have to set their clocks back and lose an hour of afternoon daylight in the fall and winter. Essentially, it means that clocks will stay the same year-round, but it also means that we will lose an hour of daylight in the mornings in November, December, January, and February.
Now that might not seem like a big deal, but when it's still dark at 8 a.m. in the winter months, you might feel differently. That's right, I said 8 a.m. Well, 8:15 to be exact.
Under our current time change system, the latest the sun rises in Massachusetts is 7:15 a.m. on Dec. 21, which is the shortest day of the year, however, if the new daylight savings bill is pushed through into law the sun won't rise until 8:15 a.m. that day. That means full daylight really won't hit until 8:30 ish.
Under the Sunshine Protection Act, most Americans will head to work and school in the pitch black for the majority of the winter season. You might not think that's a big deal, but as someone who goes to work in the dark year-round, it can take a toll. I know what you're thinking, we're adults, we can handle it, but what about our school children? What about students who will walk to school in the dark? What about waiting at bus stops on busy streets in the dark? Doesn't seem safe to me.
I realize that a major complaint about the time change comes from parents of young children who loathe the change in what's already likely a difficult sleep schedule, but would you rather send them to school in the dark?
And what's the payoff? An extra hour of sunlight in the afternoon? Years of Massachusetts winters have shown me time and time again that during the coldest months of the year, most people want to be home hibernating by five o'clock, not out enjoying that extra hour of sunlight when it's 5 degrees. When was the last time on a bitterly cold January day your kids were outside playing at 4:30 p.m. asking if they could stay outside for another hour?
Furthermore, that extra hour is really only going to get you until about 5:45 p.m., because sunset on that shortest day of the year will only move from 4:30 to 5:30 in Massachusetts.
I just think the grass isn't always greener on the other side. I think people complain about daylight savings for maybe three days after the change and then they're over it, but they might not get over three months of waking up and heading to work or school in the dark.
LOOK: Things from the year you were born that don't exist anymore
Gallery Credit: Stacey Marcus
LOOK: What major laws were passed the year you were born?
Gallery Credit: Katelyn Leboff