Daylight Saving Time is the system of changing the official local time by one hour for the duration of the spring and summer months. The daylight saved is spent on evening activities rather than wasted while people sleep past dawn.
For the first time in history, Daylight Saving Time ended the morning after Halloween at 2 a.m. The “fall back” time change in autumn, during which everyone gains an hour of sleep, is now later in October in an effort to make trick-or-treating safer, reduce traffic accidents and crime, and conserve energy.
Children’s pedestrian deaths are four times more likely on Halloween than any other night of the year. Not only are young children running around in the streets at night, but dark costumes and efforts to hide and scare others prevent cars from seeing children. By changing the clocks after Halloween, kids are able to trick-or-treat at dusk instead of total darkness.
The daylight shift caused by Daylight Saving Time prevents more than just pedestrian deaths; the number of traffic accidents and fatalities caused by those accidents decreased one percent.
A study conducted by the U.S. Law Enforcement Assistance Administration found that there was consistently between ten and thirteen percent less crime during periods of Daylight Saving Time than standard time.
Congress established the “Energy Policy Act of 2005,” which stated that beginning in 2007, Daylight Saving Time takes place on the second Sunday in March and ends on the first Sunday in November.
Benjamin Franklin is credited with conceiving the idea of daylight saving in 1784 to conserve candles. It was not put into action, however, until 1905 in London, when it was first proposed by builder and outdoorsman, William Willett, who observed how many citizens of London slept through a large portion of a summer day.
After Willett died in 1915, Germany became the first nation to adopt daylight saving time.
The United States adopted the concept in 1918, but dropped it a year later when Congress overrode a veto of the bill by President Woodrow Wilson. Daylight Saving Time was put back into practice from February 2, 1942 to September 30, 1945 as an energy conservation measure during World War II.
In the following twenty one years, the choice to participate in Daylight Saving Time was left up to individual states. President Lyndon Johnson signed the Uniform Time Act of 1966, setting a national pattern for changing clocks.
Hawaii and most parts of Arizona choose to stay on standard time throughout the year. Indiana chose to not participate in Daylight Saving Time until 2006, when the state legislation instituted it state-wide.
In North Carolina, a state which has long-accepted Daylight Saving Time and its benefits, citizens take advantage of the extra hour in the fall to spend times with friends and family.
Mr. Dobbin, administrator at Leesville Road High School, said, “It [Daylight Saving Time] gave me time to do work for my wife, but I was also able to spend the extra hour with my friends and family.”