Daylight Saving Time went too far

July 9, 2019

The Cape Gazette reported that the state Senate passed Bill 73, keeping Delaware on permanent Daylight Saving Time. The bill now awaits action in the House. The bill asks the U.S. Department of Transportation to move Delaware into a separate time zone known as the Atlantic Standard Time Zone.

The request would require the participation of neighboring Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland. On the surface, it sounds like a no-brainer. After all, who wouldn’t like longer daylight hours? This is not new. It was tried in the past. Is there no one in Dover that remembers the oil embargo and its consequences?

Beginning in October 1973, the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries proclaimed an oil embargo of all countries that supported Israel during the Yom Kippur War. This action caused many short-term and long-term effects on a global scale felt to this day. The embargo ended in March 1974. But, as we all know, oil and gas prices would never be so low.

Remember the long lines at the gas stations? Some drivers waited so long that their vehicles ran out of gas, forcing them to push the vehicle to the pump. In response, Washington declared odd-even gas rationing based on the license plate’s last digit. Nationally, the speed limit was reduced to 50 mph. Even NASCAR races were cut short to save gas.

Then, on Jan. 6, 1974, President Nixon signed the Emergency Daylight Saving Time Act. The rationale was more daylight, less energy consumption.

What Washington failed to consider was that, while it would remain light later in the day, it would also remain dark later in the morning.

So, our children were standing at bus stops or walking to school in predawn hours. After 16 months, President Nixon pulled the plug on the failed experiment.

I am retired. My children are adults and long since moved out. However, I live in a community with young families, many with school-age children. Our community lacks sidewalks, forcing pedestrians to share the roads with drivers who too often ignore the rules of the road.

It is worrisome enough that students walk to and from our main entrance for the bus. If Bill 73 is enacted, students will be walking the streets and queuing up for the bus in the predawn. The bill would, in effect, increase the risk of pedestrian/vehicle accidents.

My message to our elected officials is simple: “Learn from past mistakes, don’t repeat them.” Kill the bill!

Robert M. Pepé


  • A letter to the editor expresses a reader's opinion and, as such, is not reflective of the editorial opinions of this newspaper.

    To submit a letter to the editor for publishing, send an email to Letters must be signed and include a telephone number for verification. Please keep letters to 650 words or fewer.  We reserve the right to edit for content and length.