A new study suggests that a bad-air alert system may be encouraging Utah residents to drive more on days with poor air quality. The alerts are intended to persuade residents to limit driving on those days, but the proximity of the Wasatch mountain range may be causing people to do just the opposite. "Much of the increases in traffic were ... on roads leading to mountain environments that offer respite from the poor air quality," says the report, whose lead author is Harvey Miller, an Ohio State University geography professor.

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