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PRO: Daylight saving time creates more usable hours

By Sonny Long
March 14, 2010 at 10:03 p.m.
Updated March 13, 2010 at 9:14 p.m.


Those who favor daylight saving time say it works because the change saves energy and provides more usable hours.

Area farmers and ranchers are among those who like daylight saving time.

"Most agricultural producers, if not all, that I have ever talked to regarding this topic would much rather operate on daylight saving time," said Anthony Netardus, DeWitt County extension agent. "Having sunlight lasting longer into the evening hours gives them longer 'lighted' working hours."

Fellow county extension agent, Brian Yanta of Goliad County, has heard similar messages.

"We were just talking about daylight saving time the other day, and one of my producers stated he rather it just stay the same and not change," Yanta said. "He was wanting it to stay daylight saving time all year."

As far as energy savings, some power companies consider the change to daylight saving time an opportunity to "revisit the original purpose" of daylight saving time and "look for ways to lower energy usage," said Chevalier Mayes, Reliant Energy spokeswoman.

"Now is a good time to take advantage of natural lighting since we'll have more daylight in the afternoons," Mayes said.

Other proponents of the change cite the reduction in traffic accidents during daylight saving time.

"People are safer drivers during daylight hours, and researchers have found that DST reduces lethal car crashes and pedestrian strikes," according to a 2009 article on usnews.com, the Web site of U.S. News & World Report magazine. "In fact, a study concluded that observing DST year-round would annually prevent about 195 deaths of motor vehicle occupants and about 171 pedestrian fatalities."

The debate over daylight saving time has often reached the floor of the U.S. Congress.

According to nationalgeographic.com, when updating daylight saving time legislation in 1986, Congress noted advantages including, "more daylight outdoor playtime for the children and youth of our nation, greater utilization of parks and recreation areas, expanded economic opportunity through extension of daylight hours to peak shopping hours and through extension of domestic office hours to periods of greater overlap with the European Economic Community."

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