AUSTIN, TX - Texans may not have to worry about “springing forward” and “falling back” for daylight saving time. Three bills filed this legislative session aim to abolish the bi-annual time change altogether.
“There's really no good reason why we should spring our clocks forward an hour,” State Representative Jason Isaac, R-Dripping Springs said. “It doesn't change the amount of daylight, it doesn't change they amount of day time, it just leaves us at the same time.”
Isaac filed House Bill 2400 to get rid of daylight saving time. He said numerous studies suggest the changes lead to an increase in car accidents and heart attacks because of losing an hour of sleep, and said simply put it “has become an annoyance” and “burden” to the state.
“I know it does sound kind of funny, but it is a big deal to a lot of people that I serve,” Isaac said. “We want to unify the state of Texas to be in the same time zone.”
Isaac said it's a safety concern. He said fatal car crashes jump nearly 6% over the week following the time change.
“For a lot of people, that one week when they lose that extra hour of sleep causes some physical issues,” State Senator Jose Menendez, D-San Antonio, said. “Obviously we have all heard of the people getting late to work, getting late to school, but I think it also adds stress unnecessarily.”
Menendez said he agrees with Isaac. He filed Senate Bill 238, an identical bill to be heard in the upper chamber this session.
“Children having more safety at their bus stop in the morning, drivers not being drowsy, drivers having daylight, all of these things,” Menendez said. “When you are having the most people on the road on the way to school on the way to work, to me it makes the most sense to have that daylight going, to have people well rested.”
Critics of the bills said ending daylight saving time would mean it would get darker earlier in the evening, resulting in Texans using more energy and electricity year round.
“The largest impact to abolishing DST would be the evening hour lost to many families who really do enjoy being outside and having time with their family and friends. Many children have games that are played after the parents come home from work. Then not to mention the need to have more power used to light up many of the event locations,” Mel Cunningham, a member of the group “Save Daylight Saving Time in Texas” said. “When it is gets darker, of course we have to use more power for landscape lights which doesn't help saving electricity.”
State Representative Dan Flynn, R-Canton, filed House Bill 95 to abolish the time change as well. Flynn introduced a similar bill last legislative session, but House members voted 56-9 to keep the time change.
If the bills pass it would place Texas on central standard time year round, starting this November.
Right now Hawaii and most of Arizona are the only states that don't observe the bi-annual time change.
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