POLL: Washington State considers scrapping daylight saving time

VANCOUVER – Next month, most British Columbians will wind their clocks forward, but south of the border lawmakers are considering scrapping the twice-yearly time switches.

Washington State Representative, Elizabeth Scott, is proposing a bill for the state to join Arizona and Hawaii in sticking to one standard time.

“The idea was brought to me by some of my constituents who were frankly, just simply annoyed at the, it seems to be pointless these days for a lot of people to go through the ritual of changing all your clocks in your kitchen and your bedroom, and your living room, and then six months later you change them back,” said Scott, speaking from Olympia, Washington.

“More important than that, it’s a hassle for families with pets, small children or teenagers, because people can’t reset their clocks nearly as easy as the physical clocks.”

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Scott said she was quite surprised that when she was starting to research daylight saving time she had no idea about the negative health implications. “We’ve gotten hundreds of calls on this so far and most people seem to be in agreement that they would like to see one time year-round,” she said. “But there is a shift, you know, about 75 per cent say they like my bill and about 25 per cent of the calls say they would like to see us on daylight saving time year-round. But frankly, congress doesn’t allow states to make that decision.”

Scott said the bill will now be scheduled for executive session where the committee will vote on the idea.

Daylight saving time occurs twice a year, at 2 a.m. on Sundays to minimize disruption to sleep patterns and daily life. In the past, people have argued against changing the clocks because research has shown that springing forward has increased the risk of a heart attack by 10 per cent in the 48 hours following the change.

Sleep deprivation due to the time change has also led to an increase in road accidents. Every time change, ICBC puts out a warning to drivers and pedestrians to be more aware on the roads.

Some areas of B.C. already do not use daylight saving time. Part of the Peace River District, including Chetwynd, Dawson Creek, Hudson’s Hope, Fort St. John, Taylor and Tumbler Ridge is on Mountain Time and does not observe daylight saving.

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However, the East Kootenay Region, including Cranbrook, Fernie, Golden and Invermere, is on Mountain Time and observes daylight saving. This region is on the same time zone as Calgary. One exception is Creston, which observes Mountain time year-round.

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