Lawmakers look to end springing forward, falling back

SB 59 would put Utah on fulltime Mountain Daylight Time if passed

A clock

A push to keep Utah on Mountain Daylight Time throughout the year is supported by an overwhelming number of State senators. Senate Bill 59 Daylight Saving Time Amendments, sponsored by Sen. Wayne Harper, R-Salt Lake, proposes Utah stay on Mountain Daylight Time year-round, pending congressional approval and at least four other western states pass similar legislation.

Utah is already on Mountain Daylight Time seven-and-a-half months each year. Keeping the time “forward” year-round has many advantages.

“Twenty-six other states so far have introduced similar bills based on these findings,” said Harper in an email sent by Senate Communications Director Aundrea Peterson. “After studying the best available data on the pros and cons, avoiding bi-yearly clock changes is best for Utah citizens as long as there is uniformity in surrounding states.”

Research indicates the clock change each spring leads to decreased workplace productivity, avoidable accidents and teachers report that young children have the most difficult time adjusting. A study published in the American Economic Journal found that vehicle accidents found a 6 percent increase the day after the springtime change, which led to over 300 deaths. All these issues concern Utah legislators and citizens.

Maintaining Mountain Daylight Time year-round will provide Utah citizens more daylight hours after work. Brighter evenings benefit our retail and tourism industries and allow our state’s outdoor enthusiasts more convenient participation in sports and recreation.

S.B. 59 passed the Senate 25-2 on Tuesday, Feb. 11. It now goes to the House.

Republican Rep. Carl Albrecht, whose District 70 includes Grand County, said he was in favor of the change, quipping he had two older brothers, ages 83 and 87, who told him before the legislative session began last month, “If you don’t do anything else, fix the time.”

Doug McMurdo contributed to this report.