It’s getting hard to breath around here!
h2The air along the Wasatch Front is getting harder to breathe every day. The weather is part of the problem, but do you know that vehicle exhaust makes up over 50% of Utah’s air pollution? And air pollution, especially this time of year. Because of our climate, geography, and growing population, the air we breathe in the Salt Lake Valley is an increasing problem, contributing to respiratory issues like emphysema, lung cancer, asthma, and it impacts everyone’s quality of life to some degree.
Salt Lake’s Idle Free Ordinance
Did you know it’s against city ordinance to idle your car excessively? The ordinance says that over two minutes is too long, and it’s enforceable on public property and on private property open to the public, such as parking lots and drive-up windows. There are exceptions for when you are stopped at a traffic control device, at the direction of a police officer, or for idling as needed to warm up or defrost your car.
Other Utah cities have also adopted similar ordinances and are enforcing them. In Salt Lake City you supposedly get three warnings before you will be fined. Park City has a similar ordinance.
What Can We Do?
Besides being more aware of our idling habits, what can we all do to help the situation? UCAIR offers several suggestions, including:
- Alternative work schedules
- Active transportation (walking and biking)
- Public transit
- Avoid unnecessary trips
- Plan ahead and group your trips
There are a lot of useful suggestions and exercises on UCAIR’s website. We can all contribute to the quality of our air. Please drive safely and use common sense.