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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 29, 2011
Contact: Brenda Flores-Dollar, TxDOT; (512) 486-5904
AUSTIN – High gas prices and the higher ozone levels that accompany scorching temperatures are causing a growing number of Texas drivers to think "green" this summer. That's welcome news for organizers of the state's Drive Clean Texas air quality campaign.
Officials at the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) say it's easier than many motorists realize to save money at the pump and help reduce air pollution at the same time. That's why they're kicking off the annual Drive Clean campaign this week by encouraging motorists to implement cost-saving, no-cost, and low-cost changes in their driving and vehicle maintenance behaviors to reduce harmful vehicle emissions. In some places in Texas, emissions from cars and trucks make up half of all the air pollution.
"For better gas mileage and cleaner air, we recommend that drivers change their air and fuel filters regularly, keep tires properly inflated, and get their vehicle serviced on schedule," says Dianna Noble, TxDOT's Environmental Affairs Division Director. "A poorly maintained car or truck can release ten times more pollution than one in top condition."
Among other suggestions to "drive green" are to carpool, drive the speed limit, refuel in the evening, combine errands into a single trip, and avoid idling at drive-thrus. These simple steps not only can help eliminate tailpipe emissions, which create unhealthy air, but also will increase fuel efficiency in a car or truck.
For Texas drivers looking to replace their vehicle this year, a low-emission hybrid car or truck is a good way to drive clean. To reinforce this point, the campaign will give away a 2012 Ford Fusion Hybrid to one lucky Texan. The vehicle is being donated by the Dallas Cowboys Football Club.
Texas drivers ages 18 and up can enter to win the brand-new Ford Fusion Hybrid, and get more tips on helping improve air quality, at www.DriveCleanAcrossTexas.org. The deadline for entering the online sweepstakes is September 26.