In Washington and Oregon, HB 1479 proposes that we abolish Daylight Saving Time once and for all. And for a good cause — to end hassles, to rid ourselves of that pesky ten percent increase in the chance of heart attacks during DST, and to realize that we simply don’t need the practice anymore.
The concept of DST began as a strategy to save energy during World War I, and went on to “increase productivity” in the industrial age, as well as make use of daylight in order to save candles and fuel. Given the fact that we live in an era in which conserving one’s oil for lamps is no longer in practice, DST appears impractical. DST is no longer “necessary”, it’s inconvenient, and dangerous, according to Rep. Elizabeth Scott. “A 2009 study found that on Mondays after the switch, workers sleep an average of 40 minutes less and are injured at work more often and more severely,” she stated, bringing up health concerns.
If the bill passes, both Washington and Oregon will adhere to the same time regimen as Arizona and Hawaii; one of ignoring DST and living permanently within the regular time zone for the area.
However, concerns were raised. On top of cutting into House State Government Committee chairman Sam Hunt’s “long evenings during the summer,” if passed, the bill would potentially disrupt commuters. For example, a commuter may forget about time differences between Idaho and Washington and miss a flight. One may drive from Spokane to Idaho for a business meeting and not adjust for the difference, completely missing the meeting.
Yet, the pros may outweigh the cons. Looking back at DST’s history, we can observe its incredibly negative effects on the general populous. Thanks to more sunlight, but no thanks to these health concerns: sleep deprivation leads to overeating, increased blood pressure, increased chance of automobile and workplace accidents and hormone imbalances. Do we really need an “extra hour”, or is it simply an outdated, industrial-era concept? After all, Idaho’s excuse for implementing Daylight Savings was to sell more french fries during the added sunlight.