Due to the Sunshine Protection Act, there has been some confusion amongst Americans on whether Daylight Saving Time will occur this year. The Sunshine Protection Act to eliminate the seasonal clock/time change was passed by Senate last year. Despite the bill’s passage, this year’s “spring forward” time change will occur on Sunday, March 12 at 2:00 am and the “fall back” time change will occur on November 5, 2023. Don’t forget to change your clocks this weekend.
Although Senate passed the bill in March 2022, the bill remained in a committee in the House of Representatives until reaching expiration of the previous Congress. Failure to reach a conclusion appears to result from differences in opinions on whether the switch should be to permanent standard time or permanent daylight-saving time. People in favor of permanent standard time argue that they have safety concerns for children going to school/waiting at bus stop in the mornings without any sunlight. Additionally, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine states that standard time is better aligned with the human body’s internal clock than daylight saving time. The shift to permanent daylight-saving time would cause darkness in the morning and light in the evening, potentially disrupting people’s sleep quality and routines for work and school.
In contrast, supporters of permanent daylight-saving time want longer daylight hours and argue that this change will reduce seasonal depression and enable more outdoors activities (mainly for children). NBC News reported how Florida Senator, Marco Rubio, initially introduced the Sunshine Protection Act, claiming it would reduce crime, encourage children to play outside, and lower risks of heart attacks and car accidents. Furthermore, a study from 2020 showed a 6% increase in fatal traffic accidents in the week following the time change. Other studies show indication that workplace injuries and medical errors have a slight increase within days following the time change. Nevertheless, Daylight Saving Time shall take place in 2023 and we will hopefully receive a definite answer from Congress at some point this year.
Should you or someone you know receive a traffic ticket or get into a car accident in New Hanover, Pender, or Brunswick Counties, call Collins Law Firm at 910-793-9000 for a confidential consultation about what we can do to help you.
By Bryanna Gordon, Legal Assistant