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Safer walks to and from school may be the biggest daylight saving

Tom Emswiler’s “Time to leave” (Ideas, Oct. 5) never even alluded to the biggest benefit of all of daylight saving time: School kids can walk both to and from school in daylight for the whole school year.

With high schools starting around 7 a.m. and elementary schools getting out around 3:30 p.m., I challenge anyone to arrange time for this area so that it never involves students walking in the dark without using daylight saving time.

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The references to Arizona and Hawaii are bogus, because those states are at much lower latitudes where the shortest day isn’t anywhere near as short as it is here.

Daylight saving time is probably not a compelling idea for at least the whole Southern half of the United States. But that doesn’t tell us what’s best for Massachusetts.

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Sure, daylight saving time has costs: reduced health and increased accidents for a few days each year. But only if we also know the corresponding trade-offs can we judge whether, on balance, it’s worth it. Or are we simply to jettison everything that doesn’t have zero cost?

Chuck Kollars

Ipswich

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