Stop moving the clocks – but what time is best?

TRENTON – The clocks are moving forward an hour early Sunday morning for this year’s Daylight Saving Time – and if you’re among the roughly 70% who don’t like the time twice a year, says the U.S. Representative Frank Pallone he’s right there with you.

“It’s time to stop changing clocks,” said Pallone, D-Long Branch. “I believe that all justifications for moving forward and backward are either outdated or outweighed by the severe health and economic impacts we now know are associated with daylight savings time changes.”

The House Energy and Commerce Committee, chaired by Pallone, held a hearing on the matter on Wednesday. No vote on a bill has been taken.

“I’m an advocate for eliminating change,” Pallone said. “I haven’t decided if I want Daylight or Standard yet, but I don’t think we should go back and forth.”

Some Republicans on the panel said the war in Ukraine and gas prices should have been the priority, though Senate and House legislation that would switch to daylight saving time year-round was primarily sponsored by the republicans.

University of Washington law professor Steve Calandrillo, who grew up in Livingston, said he recommends daylight saving time year-round — primarily, to save lives with brighter nighttime commutes.

Calandrillo cited a 2004 Rutgers University study that estimated that 343 net lives per year would be saved through year-round DST.

“Darkness is twice as deadly in the evening than in the early morning hours before sunrise,” Calandrillo said. “The evening rush hour is much more deadly than the morning rush hour.”

Calandrillo said other benefits could include reduced crime and a slight energy saving.

There could also be health benefits. Research suggests that heart attacks and strokes increase when clocks are changed, especially in the week following the spring in March, not to mention an increase in sleep deprivation among teenagers.

Beth Malow, a sleep clinician and researcher at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, said permanent standard time is the healthy choice because it aligns with natural biological rhythms.

“Permanent Standard Time maximizes sunlight on winter mornings when we need plenty of light to wake us up and become alert, and minimizes sunlight late on summer evenings when too much light can interfere with our sleep,” Malow said.

Michael Symons is the Statehouse Bureau Chief for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at [email protected]

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