A citizens‘ group has launched a petition drive to push Indiana‘s next governor to ask that all of Indiana be moved into the Central Time Zone.
In the last five years, the Central Time Coalition says eight students have been run over in the hour before sunrise, and six others have been robbed or assaulted while waiting for the bus or walking to school. Indiana State School Bus Drivers Association President Ron Chew says being on eastern time means twice as many days when buses pick up kids before sunrise.
“Of all the major cities in the U.S., Indianapolis has the fewest days when the sun rises before 7 a.m.,” Chew says. “And of all the concerns that a bus driver has, the fear of running over a child is their worst.”
The group says it‘s not seeking to reopen the bitter debate over daylight saving time.
Cameron Carter with the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, which opposes the change, points out eight counties switched to Central time after Indiana adopted daylight saving time — and within two years, six of them switched back.
“There is no one time zone for the entire state,” Carter says. “If we‘ve learned anything from that process, from the adoption of daylight saving time and this petitioning process, it‘s that we have several regional economies based on our geography in this state.”
Indiana is one of 11 states which straddle time zones, and Carter argues there‘s no way around it. He says the counties on the Illinois border which observe Central time want to stay that way, while eastern counties, especially those near Cincinnati and Louisville, want to remain on Eastern time.
A House committee failed to vote on a resolution last week that would have recommended the U.S. Department of Transportation move all of Indiana to Central time.