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Idling Backhoe Endangers Children

It’s a nice, crisp fall morning in Park City. You think about your kids at daycare and how nice it is that they can still be outside in a light jacket. What you don’t expect is them breathing diesel exhaust while they enjoy the “fresh air.” That appears to be happening at City Park, where children of the Park City Cooperative Pre School are breathing noxious fumes while playing, due to a back hoe that is idling for an extended period of time.

We received a report yesterday from a concerned citizen asking why Park City’s idling Ordinance isn’t being enforced and wondering if finishing a little construction before the winter was more important to the city than the children’s welfare. According to the report, a backhoe was left running for extended periods, with the exhaust impacting the children that were only a few feet away.

Park City’s Idling Ordinance page says that “Idle Free Utah notes that health issues, ranging from asthma and bronchitis to cancer, have been found linked to vehicle emissions.” It then continues on to state that vehicles cannot idle for more than 3 minutes unless it impacts the occupants safety. There are exclusions for vehicles like police cars, busses, and ones needing auxiliary power like a refrigeration truck. While we are sure it’s more convenient to leave a backhoe running, there are reasons for this ordinance. In this case, those reasons are compounded by the fact that little kids appear to be impacted.

We have filed a complaint with the city on this matter. We’ll update you if we hear anything.

In the future, if you want to report an idling violation, you can use this form.

Here is another picture of the event, submitted by the concerned citizen:



Update: We filed a complaint using the city’s Idling Complaint web page. It couldn’t have been more than 3 minutes later that we received a reply from a member of the city’s Sustainability Team. The response, “I’m on it.”  Very impressive. If we hear more, we’ll let you know.


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