Archive for Wednesday, October 25, 2000

Sunday’s time switch comes a week early

Editorial

October 25, 2000

On Saturday, most of us will turn our clocks and watches back an hour before climbing into bed for the evening. Others among us will wait until Sunday morning to say our goodbyes to day-light saving time.

And, of course, some of us will forget entirely about the time switch. After all, it`s been six months. We`ll be late for church, arriving about the time the congregation intones its final "Amen."

This annual fall ritual has several advantages, according to officials in the U.S. Department of Transportation, which reports that they believe daylight time saves lives. Fewer people are driving in the dark, they say, especially during the heavy summer traveling months. That means fewer accidents and fewer injuries and deaths.

And that`s important.

But as long as day-light saving time continues to expire on the last Sunday in October, it seems that another safety concern is overlooked. Even if Halloween falls on that final Sunday of the month, the nation already has turned its clocks back.

So the switch ensures that children who head out of the house to trick-or-treat will be tripping down the sidewalk in complete darkness. While that may be alluring to youngsters, the safety implications are frightening.

It`s clear that drivers can have a difficult time seeing those small ghosts and goblins. And oftentimes, the excitement of receiving candy and other goodies impairs even the most well-behaved child`s judgment. In that excitement, children have been known to dart out into streets -- dark streets -- without looking for oncoming traffic.

So it remains a mystery why the U.S. Department of Transportation -- which concerns itself with vehicle safety -- wouldn`t recommend to Congress that the stop date for daylight-saving time be delayed until the first Sunday in November.

It could help save some young lives.

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