Recently, the Senate unanimously approved a bill called the “Sunshine Protection Act,” which aims to make daylight saving time permanent starting from November 2023. The bill was supported by 17 cosponsors in Congress from both political parties, and Senator Marco Rubio from Florida playing a key role in leading the charge for its passage.
Rubio, a longtime advocate of making the clock change permanent, emphasized the benefits of having an extra hour of sunlight at the end of the day all year round. He cited research indicating that this could lead to reduced crime levels, less seasonal depression, and more opportunities for children to play outside.
Rubio also highlighted the fact that many outdoor facilities without lights, such as parks, are effectively shut down in the late-afternoon and early evening during the current daylight saving time period. By making the clock change permanent, he argued, communities would not need to invest in expensive lighting systems and could extend the use of outdoor spaces.
The bill delays the implementation of permanent daylight saving time until 2023 to allow airlines and other industries to adjust their schedules in advance. While the Senate has approved the bill, it still needs to be passed by the House of Representatives and signed by the President to become law.
Experts who testified before a subcommittee of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce last week urged lawmakers to support the change. According to University of Washington professor Steve Calandrillo, darkness in the evening is far deadlier than darkness in the morning, and the evening rush hour is twice as fatal as the morning rush hour due to factors such as more people on the road, more alcohol in drivers’ bloodstream, and more unsupervised outdoor play by children.
Featured photo by Tahir Shaw