Daylight time: Gimmick or good idea?

July 27, 2005

Daylight saving time stirs controversy: supporters claim it saves energy, opponents say it disrupts international travel and is dangerous for children.

ABC News notes one of the sponsors of legislation to expand DST, Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., says, "The beauty of daylight saving time is that it just makes everyone feel sunnier."

The proposed change would start DST three weeks earlier, on the second Sunday in March, and end it a week later in the fall, on the first Sunday in November.

Debate is ending and the idea may be voted on in Congress this week.

U.S. airlines say the law will throw U.S. international schedules out of sync with Europe, costing $147 million and disrupting overseas travel. The PTA argues children will be forced to go to school in the dark, increasing the risk of accidents.

"One hundred years ago when they first proposed this, they said it was about saving energy," said Michael Downing, author of "Spring Forward: The Annual Madness of Daylight Saving Time."

"This has never been realized, no matter how many times they say it," he said. "Instead it's a tremendous way to get Americans to spend more money."

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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