As Canadians are getting ready to turn their clocks back one hour, one Kamloops man is fighting to stop the practice of changing the clocks in British Columbia.
Forty-five-year-old Bob Dieno has launched an online petition to stop going one hour back and forth in B.C. and remain on one time, preferably Daylight Saving Time (DST), all year long.
Dieno says his goal is to reach 10,000 signatures and take the petition to the B.C. government. More than a thousand people have signed the petition at the time of writing.
He has also launched the STOP the Time Change Facebook page, which already has more than 500 “likes.”
Dieno’s fight to stop biannual time changes began with a personal anecdote 24 years ago.
He was in his second-year university at Cariboo College when he missed a final exam because he forgot about the time change on the weekend.
Luckily for Dieno, he was allowed to re-write his exam, but the question about the usefulness and repercussions of the biannual time change has stuck with him ever since.
“To me, the time change makes no sense,” says Dieno. “I have never understood why we do it.”
Dieno says he is concerned about possible safety and health risks that come with the change, and says he is surprised by how much attention his petition got in just a few days.
Daylight Saving Time is in use in over 70 countries worldwide and affects over a billion people every year.
US inventor and politician Benjamin Franklin first proposed the concept in 1784 to conserve energy. Germany became the first country to implement DST in 1916.
In 1966, clocks across most of North America began changing in unison on the last Sunday of April and October.
Since 2007, clocks following the new North American standard for DST turn forward by one hour on the second Sunday in March and turn back on the first Sunday of November.
DTS in Canada is determined by provincial legislation, but exceptions may exist in certain municipalities.
Some areas of Canada not using DST include, Fort St. John, Charlie Lake, Taylor and Dawson Creek in British Columbia, Creston in the East Kootenays, and most of Saskatchewan.
Watch: What effect does Daylight Saving Time have on your body?
This year, the clocks will be set back one hour on Sunday, Nov. 1, at 2 a.m.
While DST is a good time for Canadians to take advantage of an extra hour of sleep, the end of DST and the ushering in of winter could tamper with our internal clocks. That’s because some of us may have trouble adjusting to the shorter amount of natural light we’ll be getting in our days.
Our bodies are thrown off when the amount of light that usually helps regulate our systems starts dwindling down. Some people deal with headaches, they could be cranky, have decreased energy or they’ll notice changes in their eating or sleeping habits. By winter, some patients could be renting light lamps to treat Seasonal Affective Disorder.
The people who are particularly vulnerable are those who are prone to mood or sleep problems.
Doctors recommend that if you have trouble falling asleep, don’t set your clocks back before bedtime on Saturday and wake up as you normally would on Sunday morning.
ICBC also warns drivers every year about the dangers of the time change.
While the fall time change means we have the chance to get an extra hour of sleep, according to an ICBC survey, 30 per cent of drivers take this as an opportunity to instead stay up later and therefore losing any potential benefit of an extra hour’s rest.
Driver fatigue can impact some of the key skills that affect the quality of our driving – concentration, alertness behind the wheel and reaction time to potential hazards.
As we move into November and December, ICBC says it sees more crashes than at any other time of the year – around 24,000-25,000 each month.
Almost two times more pedestrians are injured in crashes from November to January compared to June to August as the weather changes and daylight hours decrease.