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Dr. Franklin Ruehl, Ph.D. Headshot

Let's Institute Double Daylight Savings Time!

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Less crime! Fewer accidents! More energy! These are the benefits of Double Daylight Savings Time (DDST) which I propose we institute immediately!

I am absolutely opposed to the return to Standard Time (ST)!

Daylight Savings Time (DST), when clocks are advanced an hour during the spring and summer to take advantage of longer evenings of light, was initially advocated by Benjamin Franklin. But, he was unable to generate support for his plan. DST was first introduced in 1918, but was repealed a year later when farmers vehemently objected.

The present ST/DST system is signified by the phrase, "Spring ahead, fall back." But, to regress clocks 1 hour in the fall just as daylight is diminishing, giving us even more darkness, is utterly illogical! Crime rates increase as thugs use the added darkness to conceal themselves, preying on individuals who must now leave work and do after-hours shopping in the dark. Moreover, auto accidents and trips and falls increase under the cloak of 5PM darkness.

At the very least, we should institute year-round DST to reduce these problems brought on by increased darkness. For the record, Congress enacted year-round DST from 1942 to1945 to help with the WW2 effort. It was also extended in 1975 and 1976 in an effort to conserve energy. Today, Arizona, Hawaii, and parts of Indiana are on year-round DST.

But, I suggest that we go one step further and initiate Double Daylight Savings (DDST), where everyone would advance their clocks an hour in autumn, rather than reverse them, with the new phrase being, "Fall ahead, spring back." In addition to reducing crime and accidents, such a measure would engender a tangible energy savings. For instance, when year-round DST was in practice, there was an energy savings of 1 to 1.5%; with DDST, this could conceivably increase to 2 to 2.5%.

If the federal government refuses to initiate DDST, then each state should do so individually for the betterment of both its citizenry and the nation. If even just one homicide or one fatal accident was prevented, then the transition to DDST would be entirely justified, and I submit to you that far more benefits would accrue from its enactment!

May the Power of the Cosmos be with You!