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B.C. still not ready to switch to permanent Daylight Saving Time

The exception to the "Spring Forward, Fall Back" rule in Canada is Fort St. John, Charlie Lake, Taylor and Dawson Creek and Creston in B.C. and most of Saskatchewan.

Unfortunately, it’s something that even COVID-19 can’t stop it from happening — the Daylight Saving Time switch.

Sunday, at 2 a.m., British Columbians will fall back one hour, ending Daylight Saving Time.

The move back to Standard Time comes while the BC Government remains committed to implementing year-round Daylight Saving Time.

Last year, the province ‚ after 93 per cent in a survey approved of ending seasonal time change — passed legislation guiding the move to “Pacific Standard Time” in line with western United States — Washington State, Oregon and California.

However, this coordinated move to permanent Daylight Saving Time would only happen if neighbours to the south also made the move.

Currently Washington State and Oregon are ready to make the move.

However, California still requires state legislation to be approved by the U.S. federal government. And given the world is gripped in a pandemic, it’s unlikely a change to Daylight Saving Time is a priority.

The exception to the "Spring Forward, Fall Back" rule is Fort St. John, Charlie Lake, Taylor and Dawson Creek and Creston in B.C. and most of Saskatchewan.

Canada Daylight Saving Time begins at 2 a.m. local time on the second Sunday in March. Time zone names and abbreviations in Canada change during Daylight Saving Time. Eastern Standard Time (EST) becomes Eastern Daylight Time (EDT), and so forth with each time zone.

There are hazards associated with the time change every year, even with the extra hour of sleep.

“Collisions throughout the month of October to January almost double for the number of pedestrians that are injured in crashes,” said an ICBC spokesperson. “So yes, that could be partially attributed to daylight savings time.”

Today, more than 70 countries and one-fifth of the world’s seven billion people take part in daylight time.

Here are ICBC's top tips to help drivers deal with the fall time change and the shorter days.

  • Always be on the lookout for pedestrians and cyclists – especially at intersections and near transit stops where pedestrians will be coming and going and may not use crosswalks. Crashes involving pedestrians spike in the fall and winter months.
  • Prepare your vehicle for the change in weather. Clean your vehicle's headlights and rear lights and check they're all working properly. Keep your windshield, windows and mirrors clear. Remove leaves from your vehicle. Make sure you have enough windshield wiper fluid and that your wipers are in good condition. 
  • Keep your regular sleep/wake cycle. Go to bed at the same time you normally would, so you can benefit from that extra hour of sleep. Don't assume you are more rested and alert on the road the mornings following the time change as it can impact the quality of your sleep and affect your body's internal clock.

As the weather changes and daylight hours decrease, pedestrians become increasingly vulnerable. ICBC reminds pedestrians to always make eye contact with drivers and never assume that a driver has seen you.

So set those clocks back one hour before going to sleep Saturday night as changing clocks twice a year appears to be the norm for the next while.