SEBRING -- Twice a year it’s time for a time change. We “spring ahead” one hour to daylight saving time and “fall back” one hour to standard time.
When and why did daylight saving time start? If it seems like DST is longer than it used to be, it is, having been lengthened once since it was standardized by Congress in 1966.
We are on daylight saving time about seven-and-a-half months out of the year compared to about four-and-a-half months on standard time, so DST is really the standard in the U.S.
Opinions vary on DST and the twice-a-year clock adjustment.Doyle Book, like many, wants it one way or the other.
“I would just like to keep it the same all year long; quit changing ... it confuses everything,” he said. “I don’t care which one they pick, just keep it the same.”
Book said as a kid he heard that DST was implemented to give more daylight for the farmers to do work later in the day. It was before lights were put on tractors.
Andy Centonzio, like most who were asked about DST, said he had no idea when daylight saving time will end this year, but he likes it and doesn’t mind switching between standard time and DST.Lora Todd believed DST was ending in October.
“It was something they started during World War II, correct?” she said. “Well it’s 2014, about to be 2015, so I think we need to get with program and do away with it. I mean, what purpose does it really serve?”
Todd would prefer to be on year-round standard time because she loves it when it gets dark early.Randy Swain said DST will end either in the first or second weekend of November.
He wasn’t sure what prompted DST.
“Just to give farmers more time in the evening, I don’t know,” Swain said.
He noted three or four states remain on standard time year round.
“It would be great keeping it the same and not changing it twice a year,” he said.So would you want year-round standard or DST?
Swain replied with a grin and “hmm, hmm ... I don’t know. I would say daylight because you have time to do things in the afternoon when you get off from work.”
American inventor and politician Benjamin Franklin proposed daylight saving time in 1784, but it was more than 100 years until the first country, Germany in 1916, implemented the clock-forward strategy to save fuel.
The United States implemented year-round daylight saving time as a fuel-cost-saving measure for four years during World War II. Britain, where it is more commonly called British summer time, did a double and turned clocks two hours ahead during World War II.
To alleviate confusion, particularly with transportation schedules, with the various time changes across the nation, Congress approved the Uniform Time Act of 1966, which designated daylight saving time from the last Sunday in April to the last Sunday in October.The oil embargo of 1973 prompted an extended period of daylight saving time in 1974-75.
The Energy Policy Act of 2005 extended it one month to the current “spring ahead” on the second Sunday in March to “fall back” on the first Sunday in November. Three states don’t observe DST -- Alaska, Arizona and Hawaii.
About one-third of the countries in the world observe DST. Of those that do in the northern hemisphere, most return to standard time on the last Sunday in October.
As people have varying opinions on DST, so do the attempts to legislate it one way or the other -- year-round standard time or year-round DST. Florida SB 2014, The Sunshine Protection Act, called for year-round DST, but it died in the Committee on Community Affairs. A 2008 bill called for year-round standard time.
Also, in 2014 a bill in Kentucky proposed year-round standard time while a bill in Tennessee proposed year-round DST.
School Board of Highlands County Transportation Director David Solomon said if he had a choice the time would stay at one standard without changing because of the adjustment period. Every one has to get used to the time changes, including bus drivers and students.
Many times students don’t wear reflective or light-colored clothing like they used to in the “old days,” and bus drivers need to be aware of that, he said.
Does he prefer standard time or daylight saving time?
“I like the way the time is now because there is enough daylight at the end of the evening as well,” Solomon said.
Though often referred to as daylight savings time, there is no “s” in the correct term, which is daylight saving time.
The questions and opinions remain. How much, if any, fuel or energy is saved by DST? How much safer is standard time for school children in the morning? Some believe standard time benefits farmers while DST benefits retailers. Will there be more adjustments to DST? Time will tell.