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Halloween Safety Act of 2004

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC


Halloween Safety Act of 2004 -- (Extensions of Remarks - March 18, 2004)

SPEECH OF

HON. STEVEN R. ROTHMAN

OF NEW JERSEY

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

THURSDAY, MARCH 18, 2004

Mr. ROTHMAN. Mr Speaker, today I introduced the Halloween Safety Act of 2004, legislation to change the date on which daylight saving time ends each year in the interest of the safety of our children. This is a companion bill to S. 1803, introduced by Senator MICHAEL ENZI of Wyoming.

As we all know, the holiday of Halloween falls on October 31st, typically just a few days after the switch from daylight saving time to standard time. As a result of turning our clocks back, many young children go out to trick-or-treat around their neighborhoods or towns when darkness has already fallen by five or six o'clock in the evening. Parents are faced with the decision of whether or not to allow their children to go trick-or-treating in the dark, which creates a safety hazard for children running from house to house, and for motorists who must contend with children darting out into the streets.

Valerie Vainieri Huttle, the Chairwoman of the Bergen County Board of Chosen Freeholders, and David L. Ganz, who is both a Bergen County Freeholder and the Mayor of Fair Lawn, New Jersey, have raised this issue at the county government level and have asked that I act on a federal level to address this problem. The Halloween Safety Act of 2004 extends daylight saving time each year until the first Sunday in November, instead of the last Sunday in October, thereby ensuring that Halloween falls during daylight saving time each year.

I am proud to acknowledge that this safety problem has already been partly addressed in Bergen County, New Jersey. Fair Lawn's beloved police officer, the late Mary Ann Collura, implemented a special "glow stick" program so that young children would be adequately lit and visible as they walk the streets trick-or-treating. Since her untimely death in the line of duty last April, the glow stick program has gone countywide in Bergen County, thanks to the initiative of County Executive Dennis McNerney and his staff, Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli, and the Board of Chosen Freeholders.

By modestly changing the date that daylight saving time ends and that standard time begins, children in Bergen County and across the country would be safer and would have extended hours of daylight in which to participate in this holiday. I commend Freeholders Huttle and Ganz for sponsoring a resolution adopted by the Bergen County Board of Chosen Freeholders urging the change of daylight saving time, and I thank them for their commitment to the safety of the children of New Jersey and our Nation. I urge prompt consideration of the Halloween Safety Act of 2004.

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