Sunlight Protection Act: US Senate passes new act in response to Daylight Saving Time

The House of Representatives would still have to pass the bill before it would go to the president to sign.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The U.S. Senate passed a measure on Tuesday called the 'Sunlight Protection Act,' which would mean no more changing the clocks twice a year.

The House of Representatives would still have to pass the bill before it would go to the president to sign.

"More daylight in the afternoon," said Michael Thomas from Bradley Restoration.

Thomas starts work early and finishes early. He likes the idea of an extra hour of daylight when work is over.

"It also helps to come home from work and have some daylight hours to come home and be able to do some things outdoors when the weather's nice," Thomas added.

Dr. Karl Doghramji, medical director of Jefferson Sleep Disorders Center at Jefferson University Hospital, said, "Daylight Savings Time certainly doesn't seem to be the best thing for everyone's health. If anything- I think eliminating it would be a positive thing from a medical standpoint."

Doghramji explained that studies point to increased car accidents and health consequences right after the clocks change, even by just one hour.

"The body has some difficulty adjusting to these changes regardless of which direction it is-- whether advance or delay. I think the concept of keeping our sleep-wake times constant is a positive thing for most of us in the sleep world," said Doghramji.

Some supporters say more sunlight in the afternoons will mean more economic activity.

At Winnie's in Manayunk, they notice the difference in foot traffic.

"If you can extend your daylight hours and have more people out enjoying the hospitality industry, I think it would be fantastic," said Matthew Belz of Winnie's.

Critics worry about the safety of children walking to school in the dark in the early morning hours.

But this extra hour could help on the way home.

At North Light Community Center, the extra daylight in the afternoon helps with more outdoor programming- and more light at leaving time.

"It has helped tremendously, where we have more activities outside, and we're able to have longer periods of time to recreate the kids," said Wayne Ingram, director of Children's Services.

Executive Director Krista Wieder added, "For our teen programming, we do a lot of after-school programming, so it's really important because it gives them the opportunity to have a little bit more daylight for walking home for safety purposes."

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