"School has started for 1.35 million children in Indiana. The Central Time Coalition (CTC) is concerned about safety hazards to school children due to Indiana's abnormal amount of morning darkness and is calling for Indiana to be returned to its correct time zone, Central Time. Indiana is the only state in the USA that is totally in its wrong geographic time zone. For the first 78 years (1883-1961) all of Indiana was in the Central Time Zone - then Eastern Time began creeping in. The results are that school children have been run over, raped and robbed because they have no choice but to leave home in total darkness to wait for their school bus or walk along dark streets. While in August most Indiana children go to school in sunlight, come mid-October they will already be seated in their classrooms before the sun rises.
"The Indiana State School Bus Drivers Association supports the return to Central Time because it would shift a much needed hour of sunlight to the morning rush hour during the fall, winter and spring. Ron Chey, president of ISSBDA says, 'Safety for children is our primary concern and it is often difficult to see the children along dark streets and roads. One more hour of sunlight would greatly improve visibility as well as morning driving conditions for everyone.' Darkness in the morning is much more dangerous for students because they have to wait in the dark for their bus to arrive while in the evening, they can immediately walk home. Even though the sun would rise earlier on Central Time, most children would have been delivered before sunset.
"Many claim that being in Eastern Time benefits Indiana commerce and transportation. That may have been true in 1961, but not today. When asked, 'Does it make a difference to commerce and transportation whether Indiana is on Eastern or Central Time?' a former Indiana Director of Commerce and a president of a major trucking firm both said, "No, but it does make a difference and is important for Indiana to observe Daylight Saving Time.' CTC agrees that we all benefit from a healthy economy so we support observance of DST, but it should be Central Time with Central Daylight Saving Time.
"The difference between Eastern Time and Central Time for our Hoosier kids is the difference between night and day. The Coalition asks for your careful consideration of our unsafe time zone situation in Indiana and that you support the return of Indiana to Central Time."
Some Additional Information from the Central Time Zone Coalition
- Every square inch of Indiana falls within the true boundaries of the Central Time Zone.
- Nearly 1/5 of Hoosiers live in the 12 Indiana counties that are still on Central Time.
- A shift from Eastern to Central Time would mean that sunrise and sunset would occur one (1) hour earlier on Indiana clocks.
- 1-hour earlier sunrise would greatly assist visibility for drivers in seeing students.
- Darkness reduces visibility for all drivers.
- Black ice is primarily a morning darkness problem. Sunlight helps melt black ice thus one hour earlier sunrise would help reduce black ice danger for commuters.
- Sunlight assists snow and ice melting chemicals in their effectiveness thus one hour earlier sunrise would make road conditions safer for commuters.
- Morning fog often burns off in the first hour after sunrise.
- Each hour of school delay due to unsafe travel conditions is an hour of classroom instruction that is lost.
- One (1) additional hour of sunlight in the morning could reduce 2-hour delays due to fog/snow/ice to 1-hour delays.