Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

CLEAN AIR: Don’t idle cars near schools

Letter by Jeff Beaty, Bonney Lake on Aug. 30, 2011 at 1:04 pm | 6 Comments »
August 31, 2011 1:23 pm

Now that kids are returning to school, this is a great time for drivers to remember to be cautious near school zones. While it’s crucial to observe speed limits and keep your eyes open for students, you can also help improve air quality for our kids by simply turning off your vehicle engine while waiting at school.

If you need to wait more than 30 seconds in your vehicle at school, please consider turning off your engine. It’s a small step that will save you gas and – more importantly – reduce air pollution for our students.

Idling your vehicles produces twice as much exhaust as stopping and restarting your warmed-up engine. This is a concern near schools, because children breathe 50 percent more air per pound than adults.

For children with asthma, their symptoms increase as a result of car exhaust. Asthma is the most common chronic illness in children and the cause of most school absences. It is also the third leading cause of hospitalization among children under the age of 15.

Also, one hour of idling burns up to one gallon of fuel and wastes more fuel than turning your engine off and on.

You can find more information at the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency site (pscleanair.org).

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