Will Texas Ban Daylight Saving Time?

by Chris Tognotti

Are you just plain sick of Daylight Saving Time? Well, as it turns out, you're not alone — there are some folks in the Lone Star State who've got your back. That's because a Texas lawmaker, Dan Flynn, wants to abolish Daylight Saving Time in the state, keeping more light in the early morning hours. Flynn is a state representative from Canton (the Texas one, not Ohio), and it'll be interesting to see how his efforts turn out, to say the least.

Flynn's rationale is simple enough, though not entirely uncontroversial. He believes that DST is an outdated relic, a time-tinkering trick that's outlived its usefulness. He also believes it has negative implications on public health and safety, and that's a phenomenon that's been illustrated pretty well. Ostensibly due to people getting less sleep, heart attacks are more common the first weekday after the "spring forward," and whenever you make a certain time of the day darker, there's a logically heightened risk of traffic accidents.

But Flynn's view isn't that DST should be enforced year-round — the system which would keep things lighter later, easing evening darkness when homecoming commute traffic is at its worst — but rather, that it should be abolished in Texas outright, as he told Texas NBC affiliate KXAN.

It is something that was a good idea at one point, but it has kind of past. ... I have been amazed at the number of members who contacted me and said, "Wow, what a great idea."
David McNew/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Make no mistake, while this might initially sound kinda like one of those "only in Texas" stories, countries (and even states) embracing consistency in DST policy is no new or shocking thing. Hawaii, for example, has never enforced it, which means the time difference between the U.S. mainland and the island state increasing by one hour Sunday morning. They're now six hours behind the east coast, rather than five. Arizona, as well, enjoys a yearly schedule free from DST's disruptive ways.

No less a global superpower than the entire country of Russia has done similarly, as well. They abolished the DST shift last year, locking the nation in on winter time — brighter early mornings, and darker evenings. The reasons given were the typical ones you'd expect, like health, road safety and consistency, echoed by Rep. Flynn of Texas.

Of course, Flynn's plan would make things a little tricky for people living on or near the Texas border, an aspect residents of an island state like Hawaii never have to consider — all the neighboring states do use DST, meaning there'd essentially be an artificial time zone change in play throughout the summer months. So if you live in Texarkana, Texas, but you work in Texarkana, Arkansas, you might have reason to be a little skeptical of this. Maybe keep a wristwatch set to out-of-state time?

In any case, it's nice to see opponents of DST getting a little time in the limelight. After HBO's Last Week Tonight host John Oliver's withering segment on DST on his show last Sunday, suffice to say Daylight Saving Time is in the crosshairs of popular culture, and efforts at political reform might not be far behind.

Image: Getty Images