Pallone: Let’s stop moving the clocks – but which time is best?
TRENTON – Clocks get moved ahead one hour early Sunday morning for this year’s transition to Daylight Saving Time – and if you’re among the roughly 70% who don’t like the twice-a-year time switch, U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone says he’s right there with you.
“It’s time to stop changing the clocks,” said Pallone, D-Long Branch. “I believe that any justifications for springing forward and falling back are either outdated or are outweighed by the serious health and economic impacts we now know are associated with the time changes.”
The House Energy and Commerce Committee, which Pallone chairs, held a hearing on the subject Wednesday. No votes on a bill were taken.
“I’m an advocate for getting rid of the changing it,” Pallone said. “I haven’t decided yet whether I want Daylight or Standard, but I don’t think we should go back and forth.”
Some Republicans on the panel said the war in Ukraine and gas prices should have been the priority instead, although the legislation in the Senate and House that would switch to year-round Daylight Saving Time is sponsored primarily by Republicans.
University of Washington law professor Steve Calandrillo, who grew up in Livingston, said he recommends year-round Daylight Saving Time – most importantly, to save lives with brighter evening commutes.
Calandrillo cited a Rutgers University study from 2004 that estimated a net 343 lives a year would be saved through year-round Daylight Saving Time.
“Darkness is twice as deadly in the evening hours as it is in the early morning hours before sunrise,” Calandrillo said. “The evening rush hour is much more fatal than the morning rush hour.”
Calandrillo said other benefits could include a decrease in crime and a slight amount of energy savings.
There could also be health benefits. Research suggests heart attacks and strokes increase when clocks are switched, especially in the week following the spring forward in March, not to mention an increase in sleep deprivation among teens.
Vanderbilt University Medical Center sleep clinician and researcher Beth Malow said permanent Standard Time is the healthy choice, as it lines up with natural biological rhythms.
“Permanent standard time maximizes sunlight in the winter mornings when we need abundant light to wake up and become alert and minimizes sunlight late into the summer evenings, when too much light can work against our sleep,” Malow said.