Monday, March 10, 2008

Desert Time changes Baja Racing News Notice

The time changed yesterday-and many desert Baja off-road racers don't know it. Set your clocks-watches back one hour when arrving in Mexico. The Baja 250 San Felipe race will be run on Baja California time, one hour behind California time.

As Desert racers are reminded to set their clocks forward, it becomes hard to remember that Phoenix will move into the California’s time zone, and Tijuana and Baja California will move out. In California and 47 other American states, the local time will skipped forward one hour when daylight-saving time began at 1 a.m. yesterday, and it instantly became 2 a.m. But Tijuana and the rest of Baja California Norte remain on Pacific Standard Time until the first Sunday in April, meaning, beginning Sunday morning, the local time in Tijuana is one hour earlier than it will be in San Diego.

28 days (Twenty-eight days) later, Tijuanans will move their clocks forward, and will again be synchronized with California. Last year when this happened, many businesses in Baja simply observed San Diego time, however. Tens of thousands of workers, students and others make daily commutes north or south across the international boundary every day, and for the first Spring in history will have to contend with a time difference at the border. The time difference first appeared last Fall, as a result of a decision by the U.S. Congress to extend daylight-saving time one month each into spring and fall.

Although Canada followed the US, Mexico didn't. Baja officials are asking for the legal authority to always stay synced to San Diego time. Arizonans and Hawaiians are allowed to stay on standard time year-round, meaning they will not change their clocks tonight. As a result, Los Angeles moves into Phoenix's time zone, New Mexico stays one hour earlier than L.A., and the time difference from Hawaii to California increases to three hours until next fall. In the 1970s, Congress allowed state legislatures to exempt their areas from moving to daylight time. In Arizona, after a disastrous one year test of going on daylight savings time, the state legislature opted out. During the test, scorching afternoon and evening desert heat in the Arizona deserts meant overall electrical use went up as Arizonans moved their activities later into the night.

A recent study of electrical use in Indiana confirmed that some areas experience a utility-use increase after they shift to daylight time, as opposed to staying in standard time. Hawaiians, living closer to the equator, have days and nights of nearly-equal duration all year round. The legislature there has seen no reason to need to shift clocks in the Land of Aloha. If all this is confusing, consider the plight of the residents of the Hopi Indian Reservation near the Grand Canyon, where they stay on standard time like the rest of Arizona year round. But the giant Navajo Indian Reservation surrounds the Hopis, and the Navajo Nation has voted to join New Mexico on daylight-saving time. That means the official local clock can shift back and forth six times in 30 miles on one highway near Flagstaff.

Baja Racing