Time Zones and sloppy government writers

The US Code on Time Zones and Daylight Savings

The State of Idaho ought to be in the Pacific and Mountain zones. Right? Even if your geography is poor, if you watch enough television, you probably know that the order of the time zones is (from West to East): Pacific, Mountain, Central, Eastern, Atlantic.

But here’s section 264 quoted from the above link:

Sec. 264. Part of Idaho in third zone

In the division of territory, and in the definition of the limits of each zone, as provided in sections 261 to 264 of this title, so much of the State of Idaho as lies south of the Salmon River, traversing the State from east to west near forty-five degree thirty minutes latitude, shall be embraced in the third zone: Provided, That common carriers within such portion of the State of Idaho may conduct their operations on Pacific time.

OK, so what’s the ‘third’ time zone?

Section 263:

The standard time of the first zone shall be known and designated as Atlantic standard time; that of the second zone shall be known and designated as eastern standard time; that of the third zone shall be known and designated as central standard time; that of the fourth zone shall be known and designated as mountain standard time;

So Idaho is split between Pacific and Central Time. Several places in Idaho you can have one foot two hours ahead of the other. Cool, hunh? (I somehow suspect in the majority of instances, Idaho is breaking the law.)
The page does says ‘current as of 2002’, so I went in search of something more recent:
The House of Representatives page is current as of 2004, and suggests section 264 was last revised in 1948.

What seems to have happened is clear from the amendment history of section 263

1966 – Pub. L. 89-387 added Atlantic standard time as first zone designation; redesignated as eastern standard time, central standard time, mountain standard time and Pacific standard time for second through fifth zones

So, according to US Law, for the past 40 years, Idaho has been in the Pacific and Central time zones. Maybe it’s time someone pointed this out to someone in Washington…
Thanks to Greg for spotting the error.