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Utah clean air advocates asking lawmakers to hit brakes on increased speed limits

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Posted at 1:51 PM, Dec 09, 2014
and last updated 2014-12-09 17:00:27-05

SALT LAKE CITY - Drivers are hitting the roads faster thanks to increased speed limits and now some clear air advocates are slamming on the brakes.

The advocates say increasing freeway speeds is a step in the wrong direction.

Some are concerned the higher speeds could have a negative impact on air quality.

The group, Utah Mom's for Clean Airhas tried to roadblock increasing the speeds for the last year.

Group members said this could mean more fatal accidents and worsening air pollution.

However, studies by the Utah Division of Air Quality show there is little change in emissions whether you're traveling 55 mph or 75 mph.

Supporters of the speed increase argue people are already driving  70 mph anyway so the limit increase won't add to the air pollution.

Utah Moms For Clean Air founder Cherise Udell said, "It's basic math and basic law of physics that if you drive faster, you're going to get less miles per gallon, which means you're going to burn more gas and make more air pollution."

A member of Utah Moms for Clean Air has started an online petition urging UDOT to change the urban speed limit to 60 mph, lower than it was before the change.