In anticipation of the beginning of Daylight Saving Time this weekend, the Indianapolis Star has numerous articles this morning on the subject. (Thanks to Jim for compiling the links.):
Pulaski County commissioners on Monday abandoned plans to stay on Eastern time, saying concerns over a possible federal lawsuit outweighed their unhappiness over the U.S. Department of Transportation’s decision to move the county to the Central time zone.
“We caved,” said Mike Tiede, president of the Pulaski County Board of Commissioners. “We don’t want to spend a bunch of taxpayers’ money trying to defend this. The Department of Transportation threatened to hand us over to the Justice Department, and our county can’t afford that kind of stuff.”
There is also an interesting quote from a USDOT official who said “We don’t have the authority to look the other way. In the ’60s the department did so, was sued and lost.” Unfortunately, there was no follow up about what the heck was going on in southeastern Indiana where those counties were illegally observing DST. In any case, Pulaski county officials should never have been placed in this situation. The Governor and the General Assembly passed the buck and the US Dept. of Transportation’s ad hoc approach to this situation left Pulaski in a different position than its similarly situated neighbors.
I feel compelled to mention that I see this article as just another “kids these days” article, hyperventilating about the sorry state of the youth of today. I’m not an old codger, but I am 34 years old. And ever since I can remember, I’ve been hearing or reading stories bemoaning the sorry state of kids these days. I suspect people have been complaining about “kids these days” for centuries, if not millenia.
But, putting that aside and taking the premise of the story as correct and worrisome, DST can only exacerbate the problem, such as it is. By May 31 when school lets out (more or less), it won’t get dark until 9:45 p.m. EDT. That won’t encourage kids, or anyone else, to get to sleep any earlier. Wake up times, on the other hand, will tend to remain fixed due to scheduling, regardless of when people get to sleep.