Keller @ Large: Spring Forward, Fall Back, Chicken Out On Time Zone Change

BOSTON (CBS) – Are you ready for the sun to set shortly after four in the afternoon on Sunday after we turn our clocks back?

No?

Welcome to the club. Those ultra-early sunsets in late fall and winter are one of the worst parts of living here.

That’s why it’s so disappointing that a State House commission studying a move to wipe out the annual clock rollback has decided not to go forward.

Check out the list of benefits the commission acknowledged would come from this change:

  • Creating economic growth by spurring late-afternoon commercial activity.
  • Improving public health by cutting the traffic accidents and heart attacks that studies show accompany the time change.
  • Saving energy, reducing street crime, and so on and so on.

So, why did they take a pass?

They cited the perennial objection that early-morning activities like kids catching the school bus would be conducted in the dark, even though the trend toward later school starting times could mitigate that.

But the excuse that really caught my eye was that we shouldn’t act unilaterally, that unless other Northeast states played along, it would be too confusing for people to handle.

This is, of course, nonsense. Thirteen states include two or more time zones, and somehow, life goes on.

And I wish I had a buck for every time over the years I’ve heard our state legislators brag about how brave Massachusetts is to get out ahead of the pack, on health care reform or gay marriage.

But all of a sudden, we lose our nerve on this issue?

We need to rework the old memory aid to read: spring forward, fall back, and chicken out.

Your feedback is always welcome at keller@wbztv.com, or you can reach me on Twitter, @kelleratlarge.

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