In the News

  • Deseret News Monday, Sep. 14, 2020

    The World Has an Idling Problem — Utah Researchers Are Trying to Fix It

    In the middle of a historically active wildfire season — where large amounts of carbon dioxide, brown and black carbon and ozone are pouring into the atmosphere — the Utah Clean Cities Coalition wants to remind people that there is something they can do to help keep the air clean. And it only takes a few seconds. Turning off the ignition of an idle car is a simple act with potentially large benefits, said Tammie Bostick, the executive director of the coalition. It is a message she hopes to share, particularly in the month of September, which marks the 13th anniversary of the Idle Free Declaration issued by the Utah governor. ... The real-time speed limit displays — the ones that tell people how fast they’re going — are effective, according to researchers, but probably not for the reasons most think. “One of the major reasons is they show you that you’re speeding in a way that others can see you’re being shown that you’re speeding, so it’s a violation of what’s called social norm,” Kelly said. “In my terms, it is maybe a little bit of peer pressure to make good choices.” The signs started Kelly thinking, along with her fellow researcher Gregory Madden, a USU professor in the psychology department. What if they were to do something similar for idling?

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