Representative Arent was inspired by Luke Parker – a student at Upland Terrace Elementary who regularly waves a sign at adults in idling cars during school pick up – to launch a campaign where the scripts are flipped and students educate adults on idling. His ingenuity in creating ways to remind people to play their part in preventing pollution reminded her that children often speak with the clearest voices, especially in issues where adults are sometimes forgetful.
Idling is a huge issue in Utah. 57% of the pollutants in our air come from vehicles. When vehicles are idling, they are adding pollution to our air. While sitting in an idling vehicle, people in the car are exposed to higher levels of pollution than when the vehicle is in motion because exhaust enters the inside of the car.
Facts About Idling
Children’s lungs are developing. They breathe in 20% to 50% more air, and therefore breathe more air pollution than adults.
People are happier and healthier when they can exercise and play outside in clean air.
Increased exposure to polluted air can lead to health issues such as asthma, heart and lung diseases, and cancer.
Idling gets zero miles per gallon. One hour of idling burns around one gallon of gasoline. Idling is also hard on your engine.
More than 10 seconds of idling consumes more fuel than restarting your engine.
Modern engines don’t need to be warmed up by idling. The best way to warm up your car is by driving.
What You Can Do:
Remind drivers not to idle when they drop you off or pick you up at school and other activities.
Go inside a restaurant or bank instead of waiting in a drive-through line.
Keep an extra coat or blanket in the car if you are stopped for a while so you can stay warm and keep the air clear without turning on the engine.