A Daylight Savings Time Dilemma
Here we are in the first week of Daylight Saving Time for 2018, enjoying the benefits of more daylight, and for some, feeling the effects of the lost hour of sleep. It’s probably why today is National Napping Day. For some reason this year, I’ve seen a few more articles with some serious (and some with a bit of humor) venting against the time change. We know that Hawaii and Arizona don’t go on DST, and the folks in Arizona have a pretty good reason. When you get those triple-digit temps in the summer, sunset can’t come fast enough! While I’ve made several trips to see my family in Arizona, they’ve been in more bearable months like September, January, and March (the best time, I think). I have done Las Vegas in July, but somehow they live with the extra sunlight and temps over 100.
You may have heard that the state of Florida is proposing to go on Daylight Saving Time all year-round, with a bill called the “Sunshine Protection Act”. The reasons for it of course are to save some energy, but also to help the tourism industry, and let people enjoy outdoor activities a little longer. And it would certainly make evening commutes a bit safer. If we’re talking about the winter months, that would make sunrise around 8AM and sunset around 6:30PM, instead of 7AM and 5:30PM respectively during Standard Time.
Looking at things from a New Jersey perspective, if we were to do this (and I haven’t heard anyone suggest it yet), we would have sunrise somewhere around 8AM, and sunset around 5:30PM around the time of the winter solstice (December 21st). I know we all love it when you can leave work while there’s still some daylight, and it might be nice for some extra daylight for some winter sports. But the trade-off is a morning rush-hour mostly in darkness, and children walking to school or their bus stops in the dark. And if you were around in the 70’s and have a feeling of déjà vu about this, you’re not alone. Remember when Daylight Saving Time was extended during the Energy Crisis? I do. It took a lot of getting used to, taking that 7:15 bus ride to school in the dark.
You can see why Florida wants to make the change. But how do you feel? Should we keep things the way they are, or stay on either Standard Time or Daylight Saving Time all year round in New Jersey?