Set your clocks back Sunday as NJ mulls making Daylight Saving permanent
A sure sign of winter takes place Sunday with clocks being turned back an hour as Daylight Saving Time comes to and end until March.
While you'll get back the hour lost in March, you'll also have a darker afternoon commute.
Democratic state Sen. Shirley Turner is the sponsor of legislation that would make Daylight Saving Time permanent in New Jersey. Turner says with darkness coming around 5 p.m., people tend to just want to go home.
"They're not going to be out shopping or doing recreational kinds of activities. And when it gets dark it brings on depression and this is the last thing we need now with this pandemic. We want to try and lift people's spirits if that's possible," Turner said.
Turner said that changing the clocks twice a year is inconvenient and more daylight hours would lead to less crime and saves energy.
"I think all around it makes sense that we just keep our clocks in one position and stop moving them back and fourth," Turner said. "People appreciate more daylight because that's more time they can use doing the things they enjoy doing rather than go into the house when it's dark earlier."
Turner, who said she has introduced the bill during every legislative session over the past ten years admits there are a few other things ahead of making a change to Daylight Saving Time. It was last introduced in May and was referred to Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee.
"I think the problem is that no one likes change. People like to be in their comfort zone where they can continue to do whatever it is they're doing. Change is hard to come by," Turner said.
There's one more reason the time change is especially bad this year coming on the earliest first Sunday in November it can can fall, according to Turner
"It's going to give this year 2020 an extra hour. And we want this year out! We don't want to keep it here any longer than we have to have it. It's been a horrible year," Turner said.
Turner said that any time zone change has to be approved by Congress
Delaware has a law in place since last year that would switch the state to the Atlantic Time Zone, an hour ahead of the Eastern Time Zone, if the adjoining states of New Jersey, Maryland and Pennsylvania also make the change.
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio in September proposed a one year moratorium on changing the clocks because of the stress and disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic
"Our government has asked a lot of the American people over the past seven months, and keeping the nation on Daylight Saving Time is just one small step we can take to help ease the burden," Rubio wrote.
The clocks will move back to Daylight Saving Time on Sunday, March 14.
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ