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Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., introduced the Halloween Safety Act of 2001 yesterday, which would extend Daylight Saving Time one week in order to help keep children more safe on Halloween.

Enzi's floor statement follows.

STATEMENT OF SENATOR MIKE ENZI
REGARDING THE HALLOWEEN SAFETY ACT OF 2001

Mr. ENZI: Mr. President, I am pleased to introduce the Halloween Safety Act of 2001. The purpose of this act is to extend the end date of Daylight Saving Time from the last Sunday in October to the first Sunday in November to include the night of Halloween.

The idea of extending Daylight Saving Time was introduced to me by Sharon Rasmussen, a second grade teacher from Sheridan, Wyoming, and her students. Ten years ago Mrs. Rasmussen's class began writing to Wyoming's representatives expressing their wish to have an extra hour of daylight on Halloween to increase the safety of small children. Each year I receive a packet of letters from Mrs. Rasmussen's class encouraging support for this reasonable proposal. Halloween is a time of great importance and excitement for youngsters throughout the United States and many celebrate by trick-or-treating door to door.

Legislation has been introduced in the past to extend Daylight Saving Time. Although many of the bills sought to change both the starting date and the ending date, the legislation I introduced today would simply extend it for one week.

The need to protect our children is apparent. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, nearly five thousand pedestrians died in 1999, that is an average of 13 deaths per day. Fatal pedestrian-motor vehicle collisions occur most often between 6 and 9pm. Unfortunately, these general trends are highly magnified on Halloween given the considerable increase in pedestrians, most of whom are children. A study by the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control concluded that the occurrence of pedestrian deaths for children ages 5 to 14 is four times higher on Halloween than any other night of the year. Schools and communities encourage children and parents to use safety measures when children venture out on Halloween and the Halloween Safety Act can further help protect our nation's youth.

When students take an interest in improving our nation's laws, especially when it would serve to protect other children, I believe it is our duty to pay close attention. If children are concerned about their own safety and create a reasonable approach to make their world a little bit safer, I believe that accommodating their request is not too much to ask. The fact that second and third grade students in Sheridan, Wyoming have been working on this legislation shows that protecting the children of our country is a primary concern of these students, and it should be for all of us as lawmakers. If one life can be saved or one accident averted by extending Daylight Saving Time, it would be worthwhile. I encourage all my colleagues to support this act for the important benefits the Halloween Safety Act of 2001 would have for children and their parents.