SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV/AP) — Georgia senators want to stop changing their clock twice a year, saying shifting from standard time to daylight saving time and back is disruptive.
The Senate voted 46-7 Wednesday to pass Senate Bill 100, which calls for Georgia to observe standard time year-round. It goes to the House for more debate.
States can forgo daylight saving time. Currently, Hawaii and most of Arizona stay on standard time all year.
Republican Sen. Ben Watson of Savannah, a primary care doctor, says studies show more heart attacks and harsher sentences by grumpy judges after residents spring forward or fall back.
“There’s an increase number of traffic accidents, there is sleep deprivation relating to the ‘grumpy judge,'” said Watson.
“They actually hand out harsher sentences during the two weeks in the spring, it’s not just something that’s sort of frivolous,” he added. “There’s actually documented evidence that this is not good for our health.”
WSAV News 3 went out into the Savannah community to get their take on the change.
“It doesn’t affect me at all and I think its kind of pointless,” said Christina Colvett.
“It’s doesn’t do anything for us other than kind of mess up our schedules a little bit,” she added.
Aaron Sawoyer says standard time all year round would be a lot better.
“It impacts people’s sleep patterns and it definitely impacts my children,” said Sawoyer.
Watson says it’s bigger than that, and businesses, schools and hospitals should be involved in the conversation.
Daylight saving time has long been criticized for its impact on school children — who have to catch early morning buses in the dark.
“There’s a lot of discussion that should go on at the state level and certainly at the national level too,” said Watson.
Watson’s bill calls for Georgia to permanently observe standard time or daylight saving time if Congress allows. He says surveys show people would prefer more evening daylight.
But under current federal law, states can only switch to standard time all year, not daylight saving time.