Time for a change?

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Massachusetts is studying joining Atlantic Standard Time. — Stacey Rupolo

This weekend, we’ll be turning back our clocks to end Daylight Saving Time.

According to the State House News Service, a state panel has been looking at a possible shift for Massachusetts to Atlantic Standard Time. The news service reported that the panel’s final report outlines the “positive benefits” of shifting an hour ahead of the eastern seaboard, but stops short of recommending the change.

“The commission does not recommend a simple switch and cautions that following certain qualifiers should accompany any future conversation and legislative approvals,” Sen. Eileen Donoghue, who chaired the commission, was quoted as saying. “The commission is not making any recommendation as to legislation, the commission is not making recommendations as to any action to be taken by Massachusetts alone.”

The commission found, through what it called “a data-driven approach,” that changing to Atlantic Standard Time (AST) “has the potential to create economic growth in Massachusetts as people tend to shop, dine out and engage in commercial activities more in after-work daylight,” and that the switch “could improve public health in the Commonwealth by eliminating the annual transition to (Daylight Saving Time) — and the corresponding increase in traffic fatalities, workplace injuries, and heart attacks.” The change could also produce energy savings, cut down on greenhouse gas emissions, reduce street crime and boost worker productivity, the report said.

Daylight Saving Time, which began in March, is slated to end at 2 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 5. Residents should turn their clocks back one hour to correspond to Eastern Standard Time.

But what do you think? The Times would like to hear from you. Should we keep falling back and springing forward or make the switch to Atlantic Standard Time? Email news editor George Brennan in the form below.