Salt Lake City officials announced the beginning of idle free awareness Month this morning. Mayor Ralph Becker kicked off the event by talking to elementary school students in Rose Park about the importance of turning off a car when parked for more than a few seconds.
City leaders explained to 4th, 5th and 6th graders at Rose Park Elementary that Idling a vehicle increases dependence on oil, reduces the fuel economy of a car, costs more money and produces harmful pollutants. Mayor Ralph Becker offered tips on how they can help their parents minimize those effects.
“When you’re parked and waiting somewhere, whether it’s your parents picking you up from school, whether it’s when you go to a grocery store when you go out and play at a playground and people are turning their key, the idea is to be idle free," Becker said.
Nicole Warren is principal at Rose Park Elementary. She says in a survey the school conducted last year, parents said one of their biggest concerns is the amount of pollution their children breathe in the city.
“The sooner we can make our kids aware, the more helpful they’ll be in terms of changing their parent’s bad behavior," Warren said. "I won’t call it bad behavior, but their parent’s habitual behavior and also mapping out what their behavior will be in the future."
Last year, the Salt Lake City Council passed a law to make it illegal to idle for more than two minutes.