Arizona is one of the few states in the United States that doesn’t observe Daylight Savings Time (DST). This means the state doesn’t participate in the “spring forward” and “fall backward” clock adjustments common in the other states. Read on to find out in detail, why doesn’t Arizona follow Daylight Savings Time.
In addition to Arizona, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, and The Virgin Islands also don’t follow Daylight Savings Time.
Why Doesn’t Arizona Follow Daylight Savings Time:
The state’s decision not to observe Daylight Savings Time is linked to several factors, including the state’s history, climate, and politics.
1. An Extra 1 Hour Added During the World Wars:
In the United States, the first implementation of DST was during World War I. It was seen as a patriotic duty as the demand for fuel, and electricity would be reduced, and resources would be freed for the war.
The extra hour added to daylight helped minimize the usage of artificial light. After World War I ended, many countries abandoned DST, only to reintroduce it during World War II.
In 1918, the federal government passed the Standard Time Act, which established time zones and made DST mandatory for all states. Arizona complied, but the decision was met with sizeable opposition. In 1919 the act was repealed, and DST was made optional for states to adopt.
In 1966, under the Uniform Time Act, DST was made permanent and became a yearly observance. Finally, in 1968, Arizona and Hawaii decided to opt out of the change, with Arizona objecting on the grounds of the climate of the state.
2. Arizona’s Hot Climate
Arizona is located mostly in the desert, meaning it already receives a ton of sunlight throughout the year. This makes the difference in the amount of daylight between the summer and winter months far less significant than in the other parts of the country.
“Data clearly show that we must wait until about 9 p.m. DST to start any night-time activity such as drive-in movies, moonlight rides, convincing little children it’s bedtime, etc., And it’s still hot as blazes!” the editorial states.
3. Safety Concerns
Navajo Nation Uses DST: An Exception
Navajo Nation is an Indian American territory that spans parts of Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah. Among these states, Arizona is the only one not following DST.
So, the only exception to Arizona’s DST-free policy is the Navajo Nation, which observes DST to remain synchronized with the neighbouring states and make it easier to conduct business across state lines.
The Hopi reservation surrounded by the Navajo Nation doesn’t observe DST.
Navigating Arizona’s Time Zones
Despite its lack of DST, Arizona has managed to navigate the time zone differences that exist between its neighboring states.
While many other states observe Daylight Savings Time during the summer months, Arizona remains on the Mountain Standard Time. This means that during this time, Arizona is one hour behind states like Nevada and California, which are in the Pacific Daylight Time.
This difference is no longer present during the winters when most States return to standard time, and Arizona is at the same time as California and Nevada.
DST Unpopular in Arizona
Arizona has experimented with DST in the past, but it was found to be impractical and unpopular with many residents. In 1968, the state legislature voted to observe DST year-round, but the decision was met with opposition and was overturned before it went into effect.
In 1973 the state tried again, but it was met with similar protests and was repealed two years later.
Will Arizona always be DST-free?
While Arizona’s lack of Daylight Savings Time has its supporters, it also has its critics. Some argue that the state’s decision not to observe DST can be confusing for travellers and businesses, as well as for residents who live near the borders of the state.
Others point out that the lack of DST can have economic implications, as it can make it harder for businesses in Arizona to conduct business with other states that observe DST.
The decision not to observe DST is a unique aspect of the state’s identity. While it may cause some confusion or inconvenience for some, it is ultimately a reflection of the state’s culture. As long as the people of Arizona continue to support the state’s DST-free policy, it is unlikely to change in the foreseeable future.
In fact, according to CBS News, other states like Texas, California, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, are all considering adopting standard time permanently.