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Set clocks back sooner

A seventh-grader at Bonneville Junior High was critically injured just before 7 a.m., Oct. 22. Late for the bus, this youngster was running alongside it, banging on its side to get it to stop, when it turned a corner, the rear wheels running him over. This tragedy is another sad example of lives ruined because children are forced to get to school in the predawn darkness of October, prior to reverting back to Mountain Standard Time. When a school bus pulls away from a stop, it is standard operating procedure, almost reflex, to check rearview mirrors, but if it is completely dark, one cannot fault the bus driver for not seeing this boy. With adequate light, peripheral vision alone would likely have alerted the driver of the impending danger.

Similar scenarios have happened too often this decade involving junior high school students in October. The reason is darkness, a consequence of Mountain Daylight Saving Time and the fact that too many children this age lack the sense of self-preservation necessary to navigate in dark streets to school. The last three Salt Lake County middle school-age pedestrian fatalities have occurred in the predawn darkness of MDT in October.What can be done to prevent future tragedies of this sort? Legislate that all junior high students use better judgment? The evidence strongly points to darkness that is a consequence of MDT as the cause of this tragedy. How many more children will be tragically killed or maimed before we wake up and end MDT before October?

John K. Hayes

Salt Lake City