Oklahoma has been one of 48 states to traditionally follow daylight saving time, but Senate Bill 1309 will change that this November.
State Sen. Joseph Silk, author of the bill, wants to do away with the “archaic method of regulating time” which requires changing the clocks twice a year. Oklahoma would permanently stick with daylight saving time, where it’s brighter in the morning and darker in the evenings.
Like most other states, Oklahoma follows daylight saving time from March to November.
“[The time change] was initially designed to save energy, but it doesn’t save energy at all anymore just because everyone’s got air conditioners and the whole economy has changed,” said Silk to NewsOK.
“When you look at it, it’s not good for your health because your body gets into a sleeping rhythm and you disrupt it twice a year.”
Silk was inspired to write the bill because of the health risks that are caused by the sudden time change—rates of heart attacks and strokes have been proven to increase as well as traffic accidents during the following weeks of the time change.
“There is shown to be an increase in traffic accidents just because of the drowsiness and also heart attacks and strokes,” said Silk. “There’s studies that show anywhere from a 10 to 20 percent increase in the two days following the time change.”
A state abandoning this time change is not unusual. Under the Uniform Time Act, Hawaii stopped observing daylight saving time in 1967 along with Arizona in 1968. However, these two states follow standard time, while Oklahoma will stick to daylight savings time.
The federal government does not require states to follow daylight saving time and gives them the option to not observe the time change.