Carbon emissions and automobile accidents on the rise for UVU

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Photo credit: Julie Ostler | Assistant Photo Editor | @jules1lo


It seems that if UVU students and faculty wanted to make a positive impact on the environment instead of a negative vehicle impact, they need only to ride share or take the bus to campus on Wednesdays.

Utahns see more “Yellow” and “Red” air quality days throughout the winter than “Green” and the increase in campus commuters to UVU are steadily adding to the number of red and yellow days. Campus Parking for UVU reported a total of 8557 “actively issued parking passes,” and a “peak parking occupation on Wednesdays,” with no specific vehicle numbers available.

Recently, UVU hosted speaker and founder of Utah Moms for Clean Air, Cherise Udell for the annual Ethics Awareness Week. Cherise and other administrative officials repost articles and studies regularly to Utah Moms for Clean Air blog. They re-posted a study found in the Salt Lake Tribune Nov. 9, 2015. During Udell’s presentation she said that “an hour of outdoor activity on a Yellow air day is equivocal to smoking a half a pack of cigarettes.”

“Many of the doctors we work with have long suspected it, but now research shows a direct link between bad air and heart attack rates,” the blog states, “fine particulate” matters, otherwise referred to scientifically as “PM2.5” emitted by automobiles have been identified as a direct cause for the increase in rates of heart attacks. These findings are available in the study conducted by Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute.

Between the findings of the study by Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute, and Udell’s, Utah still has a long way to go.

According to Traffic Records Program Manager Gary Mower of the Utah Department of Public Safety, carbon emissions aren’t the only thing on the rise around UVU campus. Surrounding the entrances to campus, Mower’s records indicate that Orem Center St. and University Parkway exiting I-15 saw a noteworthy spike in auto accidents and at least “one pedestrian was hit on or near the UVU campus.” This year’s total reports further indicate that at least 10 of the 83 auto accidents involved injuries. Totals reported provided by Mower did not include on-campus accidents.

Mower’s figures report the “peak day for auto accidents” is on Wednesday.