Carmel woman touts benefits of moving to Central Time zone

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By Audrey Bailey

Dillon

Dillon

Winter officially began Dec. 22, which also ushered in the longest night of the year. As the daylight hours begin to once again slowly lengthen, many students and adults are still facing weeks of hearing their alarm clock long before the sun comes up.

Sue Dillon wants that to be a thing of the past in Indiana.

Dillon, president of the Central Time Coalition, believes that moving away from the Eastern time zone could make the state safer and provide other benefits, from reducing school delays and broadcasting TV shows an hour earlier.

“We are confronted with a sunlight situation that is detrimental to citizens in Indiana,” said Dillon, a Carmel resident.

Dillon started the Central Time Coalition in 2009 after a local tragedy struck close to home. Carmel High School student Ziang Ke, 15, was waiting for a school bus at around 6:45 a.m. one winter morning when he slipped on ice and was hit by a school bus. Neither the driver nor students on the bus could see Ke because of the darkness outside, and they continued on their journey to school without knowing what had happened.

“This boy was the only child of a Chinese family that had come to Carmel. They had left China two years before and had come to Carmel to give their son the best that they could. And now he’s dead, and it’s because of our sunlight situation,” Dillon said. “Indiana is broken.”

Although it’s been six years since the tragedy, and the coalition has grown to 2,000 members, Dillon is still fighting to urge legislators to listen to and consider her group’s cause.

“The procedures (the Dept. of Transportation) adopted by 1971 was that a request for a time zone change could only come from the highest elected official. And for an area, or the entire state, that has to come from the governor or the General Assembly,” Dillon said.

But, even if the General Assembly would pass a resolution, the U.S. Dept. of Transportation would still have to make the final decision. Although the road to change is a long one, Dillon will continue to work to get the topic before state leaders and others.

“They need to discuss it,” Dillon said. “That’s what we want to happen. That’s what we’ve asked for for six years.”

To learn more about Hoosiers for Central Time, visit hoosiersforcentraltime.com/

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4 Comments

  1. Sounds like the real issue is someone should have salted the school bus stop or maybe add a street light. Blaming daylight savings for this kid’s death is like suing McDonald’s for making you fat. This is ludicrous.

  2. Sue, I agree with you 100%. We should be on the same time as Chicago, year round. Even Night baseball games are ending before dark in the summer. Fireworks begin at 10-10:30. Sorry Mitch, I don’t agree with your reasoning on this one.

  3. Janice Michalski Kraft on

    In January of 2014, the morning after a very light snow, my daughter left for the bus stop in the dark. Seconds later she fell on ice on the sidewalk breaking two bones in her arm. Luckily I had seen it happen and my neighbor also heard her. The bus passed by seconds later but never stopped. I am sure the driver never saw her laying on the sidewalk. I rushed her to the ER where they asked numerous times if she hit her head, she did not. By that afternoon she was having surgery on her arm, requiring two plates and eight screws to repair it. Two weeks ago she had another surgery to remove all the hardware. I feel she is lucky that she did not hit her head during the fall but, this past year has been very painful for her. I cannot agree more with this article.

  4. Sue, I just read your ‘letter to the editor’ in our Laf. Journal and Courier (Thurs. March 10, 2016) and I totally agree with you!! Since Indiana going to Eastern Time zone it’s been just terrible. The darkness we deal with in the mornings and darkness early in the evenings is so depressing. It’s the one really BAD things Mitch Daniels did before leaving office.
    There there a ‘snowballs chance’ that we will get to go back to Central Time zone? I will be Praying so….

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