County Outreach Serves a Reminder of the Health and Environmental Consequences of Vehicle Idling
Coalville – The Summit County Health Department, in collaboration with the Office of Sustainability, are reminding residents of the Summit County Code regarding idling vehicles and the health and environmental consequences that result in extended vehicle idling.
“The ordinance applies to locations within unincorporated Summit County where after two prior warnings are issued, on the third a $50 ticket can be issued,” says Summit County Sheriff Justin Martinez. “But, the primary purpose of this section of the code is to educate the public about the negative consequences of vehicle idling,” he added.
During the winter months Salt Lake City is affected by vehicle emissions production that gets trapped in the valley and creates unsafe and harmful air for residents. Although Summit County lacks the same visual pollution reminder, when it comes to driving behaviors our actions produce the same particulate matter. If each vehicle driving in and out of the County during the work week reduced idling by just 2 minutes each day it would save more than a combined 74,000 gallons of gas and 661 metric tons of CO2 from being released each year. This is the equivalent of switching over 23,000 lightbulbs to LEDs. As a point of reference, the entire Park City School District changed out 28,000 bulbs to LEDs in 2016.
As the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) continues work on road repairs and the seasonal traffic creates longer commuting times, the County encourages drivers to take note. “Car pool, take a bus or enjoy a warm beverage with friends while you wait for traffic to thin out. Whether you are idling for comfort or idling as you come to a standstill on S.R. 224, tailpipe emissions are flowing into the air. Although the County Ordinance applies to the idling for comfort scenario, our aim is for people to make smart commuting decisions” reminds Lisa Yoder, Summit County’s Sustainability Director.
To get businesses involved and active in the Idle-Free campaign, the County will provide 40 educational “Turn the Key Be Idle Free” signs and accompanying pole to be placed in the parking areas of businesses operating in unincorporated Summit County. To request a free sign, a $25 value, a business owner should contact Erin at the Sustainability Office by calling the office, 435-336-0157 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The business must commit to placing the sign as soon as possible, weather permitting.
For more information on idling and how you can help get the message out to make Summit County idle-free, visit the What You Can Do page on the County’s website: http://summitcounty.org/715/What-You-Can-Do. All efforts to reduce idling and tail pipe emissions move the county closer to Council goals outlined and adopted in the 2015 Climate Action Plan, which call for a 15% reduction in all Greenhouse Gas Emissions over 15 years, beginning in 2015.