SB59: Lawmakers make another attempt to get rid of daylight saving time in Utah

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A bill in the Utah Legislature would place Utah on year-round Mountain Daylight Time. SB59, sponsored by Sen. Wayne Harper, R-Salt Lake. BYU students from Arizona and Hawaii, states that have already gotten rid of daylight saving time, shared their thoughts on whether Utah should follow.

“Mountain Daylight Time” means the period during a year when Mountain Standard Time is advanced an hour. Legislation, enacted by Congress, would go into effect to amend 15 U.S.C. Sec 260a to authorize Utah to follow year-round Mountain Daylight Time.

Some Utah residents have emailed and told Harper that the state needs to stop changing the clock. These comments inspired Harper to create the bill.

“It’s hard on seniors. Heart attacks, drowsy driving, and epileptic seizures rise when you change the clock,” Harper said.

A common belief is that observing daylight saving time decreases energy consumption and aids child safety when walking to and from school. “It doesn’t affect energy consumption, and most students don’t walk to school now, their parents drive them, so these things are insignificant,” Harper said.

However, despite the supposed approval of removing daylight saving time observance, SB59 is similar to rejected bills proposed in recent years.

Proposals keep falling through because Utah could potentially be the only state in the intermountain West to not observe the time change. “Trucking companies get upset because it messes with their schedules.” Harper said.

Currently, Arizona and Hawaii are the only states who do not adhere to Daylight Saving Time in the United States. Broadcasting student Natalie Janes raised in Arizona and says she hasn’t noticed any negatives to this change. Getting rid of daylight saving did not impact her routine in any significant way.

“You don’t have to remember when you’re an hour ahead or behind,” Janes said. “It’s nice to not have to worry about losing that hour of sleep when you change back.”

Visiting BYU-I student and Hawaii native Chloe Kava did not know what daylight savings was before moving to the mainland. “I personally feel like daylight saving disrupts my routine,” Kava said.

Kava believes not changing the time allows individuals to carry on with their normal routine, but when an hour is shifted, “everything is thrown off.”

Since Arizona has more hours of daily sunlight, getting rid of daylight saving was ideal for citizens to avoid the hot weather by having more time during the evening after the sun set. Hawaii is sunny most of the year and the state does not experience the dark winters Utah has.

Despite the inconvenience it causes, Utah may have to reject the bill due to outside pressure from companies and other states. If the bill is passed, Utah residents would have one less distraction in their routines.

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