Does anybody really know what time it is?

If we’re going to continue this daylight saving time nonsense, let’s at least be humane about it. Make it take effect at 4 p.m. on a Monday.

Presto! A weary Monday afternoon turns into time to go home. Sorry boss, the day just got away from me.

Why does it have to come out of my sleep at 2 a.m. on a Sunday?

But, no. Instead, all we get are half-hearted measures every year in state legislatures wanting to make an exception of this or that state. In Utah, Rep. Ronda Menlove, R-Garland, has a bill (HB197), that would require the Governor’s Office of Economic Development to hold a meeting on the subject.

A meeting? Talk about an hour of your life you’ll never get back, even in November.In Kentucky, a lawmaker by the name of Kevin Sinnette has a more direct approach, proposing to exempt the entire state from the time change. The problem? Half the state is in the Central Time zone, while the other half is in the Eastern Time zone. If Kentucky exempts itself, the western half of the state will spend the largest share of the year in the Mountain Time zone.

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That makes no sense at all, and it’s the main reason why these piecemeal efforts at fiddling with the clock are ridiculous. Life in the United States is tough enough just having to remember what time it is in Arizona and Hawaii without having to remember that your flight to western Kentucky will land in the same time zone as Denver, even though most of the land between those places is an hour ahead.

Let’s face it, most legislative matters in this country should be left up to states, counties and municipalities, not Washington. But this isn’t one of them. The more states want to adopt their own time standards, the more nutty life will become.

We’ve been there before, folks. Washington imposed daylight saving during World War II to save energy, then repealed the law after the war. Some areas of the country decided to keep it, while others didn’t.

A report on the subject two years ago by Livescience described how “One 35-mile bus ride from Allentown, W.Va., to Steubenville, Ohio, took riders through no less than seven different time changes.” Even “Minneapolis and St. Paul were on different clocks, creating confusion for workers who lived in one city and commuted to the other.”

No, this is a job for Washington. If saving energy really is in the interest of interstate commerce and all that, set the nation’s time zones permanently on daylight saving and be done with it.

Of course, we could follow the example of Toronto’s famously drug addled mayor, Rob Ford, who tweeted Saturday to remind people to “turn your clocks back.” I’m not sure what time zone he’s in, but if we all just continue turning the clocks back every six months, we’ll get more sleep, even if eventually we’re eating lunch at what used to be midnight.

Categories: Utah issues, Washington

About the Author

Jay Evensen

Jay Evensen is the Senior Editorial Columnist for the Deseret News. He has 32 years of journalism experience covering politics and a variety of other assignments at news organizations ranging from United Press International in New York City to the Las Vegas Review-Journal and the Deseret News, where he has worked since 1986. During that time, he has won numerous local, regional and national awards. Most recently, he was given the Cameron Duncan Media Award, given annually in Washington, D.C., by the advocacy group RESULTS, to the journalist judged to have done the most to further the cause of the world's poorest people.

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