Salt Lake City is moving into a hot and already-record-breaking summer.
A warming climate makes air pollution worse – from increased wildfires to the formation of ground-level ozone.
As temperatures go up, so does ground-level ozone. This is the ozone that forms when emissions from our cars, lawnmowers, other sources of combustion, and certain chemical products react with sunlight and heat.
Ozone is damaging to our lungs and cardiovascular systems. It’s an invisible, odorless chemical, but being exposed to it is described like “receiving a sunburn on your lungs.”
That’s why it’s important for everyone to work together to reduce pollution. Check out the Utah Department of Environmental Quality’s list of best practices for reducing ozone during these hot, sunny days.
One of the biggest ways to reduce air and ozone pollution is to drive less. Vehicle exhaust contributes a sizeable chunk of our ozone pollution.
And if you do have to drive? Remember to turn your engine off and be idle free when stopped in your vehicle (when not in traffic).
Excess vehicle exhaust threatens our air quality and the overall health of our communities. That’s why in 2011, Salt Lake City enacted one of the first Idle Free Ordinances in the state.
The Idle Free Ordinance prohibits unnecessary idling over two minutes within Salt Lake City limits. The ordinance prioritizes our community’s commitment to improving local air quality.
Idle Free Ordinance Update
Thanks to a 2019 state legislative change, Salt Lake City was able to update our 2011 Ordinance this year to better serve its purpose of limit idling in Salt Lake City. Specifically, the law (HB148) allows Salt Lake City to issue only one warning before issuing a ticket for idling. Previously, the city was required to issue three warnings.
The idling time limit will stay the same: unnecessary idling for more than two minutes is prohibited.
Some idling, of course, is necessary. For example, when stopped for an official traffic control device or signal, or if you the health and safety of a driver or passenger (including service animals) requires it. However, in ordinary driving situations, lengthy stops are generally limited, and when you do make a stop, remember to turn the key and be idle free!Read more