STAUNTON — The ongoing debate — do we continue with daylight saving, or will it go away?
This year, it's still here. Sorry.
We will still continue to fall back in November and spring forward in March — something that started in the 1960s. Come Nov. 6, we will turn back time, one hour, ending daylight saving time. Then we will be in standard time. The United States is one of more than 70 countries that observe daylight saving time.
Several bills have been introduced across the country, including Virginia, to discontinue the act. The Virginia bill, HB 303, was introduced by Nicholas Freitas (R-30th) in the beginning of the 2022 General Assembly session in January. The bill would exempt Virginia from observing daylight saving time.
"The United States Eastern Standard Time shall be in effect in all parts of the commonwealth at all times," the bill said. "The commonwealth, and all political subdivisions thereof, shall not observe daylight saving time and shall be exempt from the daylight saving time provisions of the federal Uniform Time Act of 1966."
According to the bill, there is "overwhelming conclusion of researchers is that the act of changing the clocks twice per year directly results in an increase in heart attacks, traffic accidents, workplace injuries, pedestrian deaths, crime, and sleep disruption as well as a loss of productivity."
The bill went on to say that research suggests there is an association between biannual clock change and seasonal affective disorder, strokes and cardiac arrest.
Nineteen states have introduced legislation for year-round daylight saving time, if allowed by Congress. There are only two states that do no change the clocks biannually — Arizona and Hawaii. Other non-observers include American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, according to USA TODAY.
The Virginia bill was tabled in February. Back in March, the U.S. Senate passed legislation that would make daylight saving time permanent starting in 2023, according to Reuters. It's called the Sunshine Protection Act and the House of Representatives needs to pass the bill before it can go to President Joe Biden to sign.
About 30 states have introduced legislation to end daylight saving since 2015, Reuters said, with some states proposing to do it only if neighboring states do the same.
Why do we observe daylight saving?
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation — that's who is in charge of it — it's to conserve energy. The more time the sun is out, means more people will spend time outside, theoretically. That's why we spring forward in the spring: it's warmer outside, more sunshine, less time inside and less energy used.
The time switch started during World War I as a way to conserve coal, USA TODAY said. In 2007, the federal government expanded daylight saving time in order to reduce energy consumption, the USA TODAY article said. The law now specifies that daylight time applies from 2 a.m. on the second Sunday of March until 2 a.m. on the first Sunday of November. Daylight saving time now accounts for about 65% of the year, USA TODAY said.
Also, it's saving, not savings, grammatically.
"The correct term is daylight 'saving' (not savings) time. However, the incorrect term 'daylight savings time' is commonly used, especially in Australia, Canada and the United States," the USA TODAY article said. "It's also supposed to be lowercase, not uppercase, according to the Associated Press stylebook."
Laura Peters is the trending topics reporter at The News Leader. Have a news tip on local trends or businesses? Or a good feature? You can reach reporter Laura Peters (she/her) at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her @peterslaura. Subscribe to The News Leader at newsleader.com.
This article originally appeared on Staunton News Leader: Daylight saving: We fall back this year, but will it be the last time?