Don’t forget to Spring forward!

On Sunday March 10, at 2 am, all clocks in North Carolina spring forward one hour. Courtesy Google Images.


by Michelle Cassell
Managing Editor

On Sunday, March 10, at 2 a.m., all North Carolina clocks and much of the country spring forward one hour to accommodate Daylight Savings Time.

Why are we doing this?

According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, before the establishment of time zones in 1883, there were more than 144 local times in North America. The resulting time differences between adjacent towns and cities were not critical when traveling from place to place took days.  However, as railroads began to proliferate, the many different time zones led to confusion and difficulty in scheduling.  As a result, the major railroad companies began to operate on a coordinated system of four time zones starting in 1883.

After World War II, it became obvious that the need for coordination of transportation zones among all modes of transportation would be necessary.  When the Department of Transportation was created by Congress in 1966, it was assigned “the responsibility of regulating, fostering, and promoting widespread and uniform adoption and observance of standardized time” within each time zone.

Daylight Saving Time (DST) was enacted as a legal requirement by the Uniform Time Act of 1966. This act mandated standard time within the existing time zones and established a permanent system of uniform DST, including the dates and times for twice-yearly transitions. While State governments cannot independently change time zones or the length of DST, they can exempt themselves from DST, independent of DOT authority or permission.

Hence, we have N.C. House Bill 326, which would adopt DST year-round  The bill states in part “The standard time of the State and its political subdivisions is the time designated by the 11 United States Department of Transportation pursuant to the Uniform Time Act of 1966 (15 12 U.S.C. §§ 260-267). If authorized by Congress, the State and its political subdivisions shall observe Daylight Saving Time, as provided in 15 U.S.C. § 260a, at all times throughout the year.”.  The bill was introduced in March 2023 in the General Assembly. It passed the House in May, but stalled in the Senate.

Note that even if the bill was adopted, it would still require Federal Action.  In 2023 The Sunshine Protection Act was introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senator Marco Rubio of Florida. Representative Vern Buchanan (R-FL) also introduced it in the House of Representatives. 

The bill would establish permanent daylight saving time nationwide. Under the bill’s provisions, no clock changes would occur in the spring and fall. The bill is in committee in the Senate and in a subcommittee in the House, with no action taken so far in 2024.

So, unless you live in Arizona (except for the Navajo Nation), Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam and the Northern Marianas, you must remember to spring forward.

Michelle Cassell is a seasoned reporter who has covered everything from crime to hurricanes and local politics to human interest over the course of 35 years. As managing editor, she hopes to encourage writers of a wide range of backgrounds and interests in TLR’s coverage of Southern Orange County news.

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