Crime, energy use top reasons for daylight-saving time

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) Daylight-saving time is this weekend. Clocks officially jump ahead an hour at 2 a.m. Sunday, although most people will reset their timepieces before or after sleeping that night.

So what's the point of the annual "spring forward" and "fall back" routine in March and November, respectively?

Daylight-saving time "has the effect of creating more sunlit hours in the evening during the months when the weather is the warmest," according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

The system, along with the nation's time zones, are administered by the U.S. Department of Transportation. The DOT offers these reasons for observing daylight-saving time:

It saves energy. During daylight-saving time, the sun sets one hour later in the evenings, so the need to use electricity for household lighting and appliances is reduced. People tend to spend more time outside in the evenings during daylight-saving time, which reduces the need to use electricity in the home. Also, because the sunrise is very early in the morning during the summer months, most people will awake after the sun has already risen, which means they turn on fewer lights in their homes.

It saves lives and prevents traffic injuries. During daylight-saving time, more people travel to and from school and work and complete errands during the daylight.

It reduces crime. During daylight-saving time, more people are out conducting their affairs during the daylight rather than at night, when more crime occurs.

The only places in the United States where daylight-saving time is not observed: the eastern time zone portion of Indiana, most of Arizona, all of Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

Under the Uniform Time Act, states can exempt themselves from daylight-saving time by state law.