For a while it’s appeared that for Massachusetts to avoid 4 p.m. sunsets it would have to go on Atlantic time, because adopting permanent daylight time required an act of Congress. I was cheered by Michael A. Cohen’s op-ed stating that support for such an act was growing (“Don’t turn back the clock,” Ideas, Sept. 20).
Massachusetts and Maine, both of whose legislatures have worked toward Atlantic time, are in the unusual situation of being at the eastern end of their time zone. It gets dark here 50 minutes earlier than it does in Washington, D.C. Adoption of daylight time should be optional, because Michigan and Indiana may want more morning light. But our situation is untenable.
Older people are especially hurt because many of them have trouble driving at night. During this pandemic, with carpooling off limits, they’re effectively grounded from November to March. It’s colder when it’s darker, so they have less opportunity for distant socializing. It’s icier when it’s darker, too, so winter driving for everyone is more dangerous in the dark. Children who are returning to school have no time to play outside. As Cohen says, there are no advantages to the present system. Let’s change it.