Do we keep day­light sav­ing time or let it go?

The Commercial Appeal - - Front Page - The Com­mer­cial Ap­peal

Af­ter a vote on Mon­day, the Shelby County Com­mis­sion will ask the Ten­nessee leg­is­la­ture to “con­tinue study­ing day­light sav­ing leg­is­la­tion and seek ways to min­i­mize dis­rup­tion for Ten­nessee fam­i­lies.”

The orig­i­nal res­o­lu­tion would have asked the leg­is­la­ture to ex­empt the state en­tirely from day­light sav­ing time, but that was sub­sti­tuted for what com­mis­sion­ers called a “softer” res­o­lu­tion.

Com­mis­sioner Mick Wright, who sponsored the res­o­lu­tion, said he saw a post from a friend on Facebook about the harm of switch­ing one’s clock back and forth. He then did some re­search on the health con­se­quences of chang­ing one’s sched­ule due to the chang­ing time.

“I’m hear­ing from a lot of peo­ple that it ac­tu­ally has real world con­se­quences to peo­ple’s sched­ules, es­pe­cially young fam­i­lies,” Wright said.

He opted for the “softer” word­ing in the end to garner more sup­port for the res­o­lu­tion, Wright said.

Why not day­light sav­ing?

Dis­rupted sleep pat­terns from switch­ing back and forth can cause fa­tigue and an in­crease in stress. Some stud­ies have noted a spike in heart at­tacks dur­ing the first week of day­light sav­ing time, ac­cord­ing to Busi­ness In­sider, al­though fall­ing back in the fall may cause a de­crease in heart at­tacks.

Fa­tigue re­sult­ing from los­ing an hour can also re­sult in an in­crease in traf­fic ac­ci­dents.

An­other op­tion, to keep day­light sav­ing time year-round, could de­crease deaths from traf­fic ac­ci­dents since it’s more likely to be light out, ac­cord­ing to some stud­ies.

How­ever, keep­ing day­light sav­ing time would re­quire a change to fed­eral law, whereas opt­ing out can be done by in­di­vid­ual states.

Wright said he’d be fine with either op­tion: It’s pri­mar­ily the switch­ing back and forth that con­cerns him.

Ten­nessee leg­is­la­tors have pre­vi­ously con­sid­ered mak­ing changes to how the state han­dles day­light sav­ing time, but those ef­forts have never seen fruition.

Ari­zona, Hawaii and a hand­ful of U.S. ter­ri­to­ries have also opted out of day­light sav­ing time, largely be­cause they have plenty of day­light.

Other items the Shelby County Com­mis­sion voted to put on its leg­isla­tive agenda in­clude:

❚ Ask­ing the state to of­fer more fund­ing for the Ten­nessee Bureau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion to in­ves­ti­gate of­fi­cer-in­volved shoot­ings (voted on in a pre­vi­ous meet­ing)

❚ Ask­ing that the state amend its Ba­sic Ed­u­ca­tion Pro­gram to fund ad­di­tional school re­source of­fi­cers, so­cial work­ers and coun­selors.

❚ Ask­ing for state fund­ing for re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion pro­grams for se­nior cit­i­zens in im­pov­er­ished in­ner city ar­eas.

❚ Ask­ing the state to avoid mak­ing un­funded man­dates of school sys­tems.

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