Now is a great time to encourage “no drive days”

Man carrying briefcase steps out of a Sun Tran bus.

The peak period for ground-level ozone air pollution in southern Arizona occurs during the hottest months of the year. Pima Association of Governments asks your company, as a participant in the Travel Reduction Program, to encourage your employees to adopt “no drive days” to help reduce the health hazards of ozone exposure in our community.

So far this summer, the Pima County Department of Environmental Quality has issued several high pollution advisories for ground-level ozone air pollution. The main cause of ozone is emissions from motor vehicles. Negative impacts from ozone can reach all who live in our community, and include a variety of health problems, especially in children, the elderly and people who have respiratory diseases such as asthma and other health issues. Individuals who are especially sensitive to air pollution may experience shortness of breath, coughing, throat irritation, wheezing, and breathing discomfort.

While a number of emissions contribute to the creation of ground-level ozone, motor vehicle exhaust and gasoline vapors are two that your organization’s participation in the TRP can help mitigate. In urging your employees to adopt “no drive days,” please remind them of the many alternative modes of transportation: they can take transit, carpool, use active transportation, or telework.

Other actions to reduce the production of ground-level ozone:

  • Reduce driving – combine errands into one trip.
  • Ride the bus, walk, bike, or share a ride with friends and family.
  • Avoid idling your vehicle’s engine.
  • Re-fuel your car after 6 p.m.
  • While re-fueling, always stop at the click.
  • Make sure your gas cap is tightly sealed after re-fueling.
  • Check your tire pressure monthly to reduce gasoline use and associated pollution.