Fall Back: Critics Push to Do Away With Time Change


The end of another year of daylight saving time arrives this weekend, with Americans setting their clocks back one hour for the time change Sunday morning. But there is a growing movement across the country to end the spring forward-fall back pattern. While many Americans have been annoyed at the time change for years, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine has now released a position statement calling for the end of daylight saving time based on poor health effects.

Scott Yates, a Denver-based blogger who started the hashtag #LockTheClock movement, is among those pushing to end the time change. "We're starting to realize that the science is really clear, that it's not just kind of annoying, but it is really deadly---heart attacks go up, strokes go up, as do workplace accidents, traffic accidents," he tells KTRH.

There have been unsuccessful efforts in recent years to end daylight saving time in Texas. Yates points to one bill in particular he would support. "It had really great bipartisan support, with 117 yes votes in the (Texas) House," he says. "And that bill just said that we should have a statewide referendum, and voters should get to choose whether we go to year-round standard time or year-round daylight time."

Yates would like to see an idea like that nationalized. "I think the smart approach is we announce we're going to lock the clocks, and that we're not going to have any more time changes," he says. "And then, each state gets to decide if they want to be in standard time or if they want to be in daylight saving time year-round."

A common belief is that daylight saving time came about because farmers wanted it, but Yates says that is not true. In fact, he counts the farm lobby among his supporters to #LockTheClock. "If there isn't a reason to do it, and there is good reason not to do it because it's killing so many people, the question is why do we keep doing it," he asks. "And the answer is we're just kind of stuck with it. We just haven't been able to figure out the smart way to get out of it."