Department of Transportation

Let Daylight Saving Time Die Already

Several states have broken free of the government requirement, with more on the way.


|||Vladimir Nikulin/
Vladimir Nikulin/

Everyone not named Franklin D. Roosevelt hates Daylight Saving Time. The constant back and forth is confusing, especially for those who have an early Sunday morning commitment. The Standard Time Act of 1918 gave the federal government power to oversee national time zones. That power was extended with the passage of the Uniform Time Act of 1966, which allows the Department of Transportation (DOT) to set Daylight Saving Time for the entire country. Why DOT? Because "time standards are important for many modes of transportation," or something like that. Despite decades of observance, however, more and more Americans are rebelling against the pointless concept.

Arizona, Hawaii, and territories like American Samoa and Puerto Rico have broken free of oppressive time changes. If a state wishes to follow suit, including those who choose to keep their state in the Daylight Saving Time zone year-round, it must seek approval from DOT.

In March, Florida signed off on the appropriately named Sunshine Protection Act. But thanks to the federal government, residents must wait on Congress to change federal law in their favor. They, too, will begrudgingly observe the time change this year.

Californians hoping to ditch the practice are planning to vote yes on Proposition 7, yet must similarly wait for congressional approval. Massachusetts is also considering a change to its laws, with more states following suit. The federal government still reserves the ability to deny a state's request.

As more states begin to rebel against changing their clocks twice a year, an important question remains: Why do we still do this inane practice?

The century-old justifications related to farming, war, and light bulb conservation no longer apply in the modern world. We do this simply because we've always done it, except, of course, we haven't always done it. In the case of Massachusetts, actual harm results from the practice. As you wind your clock back this weekend, and then find yourself gassed earlier than you should be come Monday afternoon, blame Washington, D.C.