Resolutions requesting the United State Department of Transportation to unite all of Indiana in the same time zone by restoring the Eastern Time counties to their original Central Time Zone have been introduced in the Indiana Senate sponsored by Senators Mike Delph and Lindel Hume and in the House by Representatives Jeff Thompson and Dale Grubb.
Signatures are being gathered in support of Central Time on petitions sponsored by the Central Time Coalition. With a goal of 100,000 signatures, the petition can be viewed and downloaded from www.hoosiersforcentraltime.com.
"People assume that our goal is to repeal daylight saving time. That is not true," spokesperson Sue Dillon said. "We support the observance of DST but that's just half of the time correction job initiated by Governor Daniels. The other half is restoring Indiana to its correct Central Time Zone. On Central Time our summers would return to the sunlight schedule Hoosiers enjoyed prior to 2006 when we were on 'Chicago Time.' Bedtimes and July 4th fireworks would be family-friendly again."
Retired school administrator Jim Disney from Danville points out that Eastern's excessive morning darkness is very unsafe for school children.
"This fall six Indiana students walking or waiting at their bus stops were hit by cars whose drivers didn't see them in the dark," Disney said. "On Central Time, Indiana's latest sunrise would be approximately 7:15 a.m. and the majority of travel to and from school would occur in sunlight."
Carmel businessman Andy Ray is concerned about the inconvenience to business interaction caused by Eastern's three-hour time lag with the West Coast.
"A one-hour time difference is a minor inconvenience. Two hours begins to be a problem but a three-hour time difference causes major inconveniences," Ray said. "As far as business is concerned, Indiana simply is not taking advantage of its natural Central Time location."
Dillon claims that Eastern Time, adopted in 1961, is an outdated designation for Indiana that no longer benefits commerce and actually causes inconveniences.
"Having Indiana split in two time zones is divisive within our state and causes confusion that is totally unnecessary," she said. "It's like a shoe that doesn't fit and it is hurting lots of Hoosiers. It's an easy fix - we simply skip setting our clocks ahead one time."