Learn about anti-idling.
Here we’ve assembled some information about anti-idling, how idling can impact your life and your wallet.
Have you ever left your vehicle running…
- waiting to pick up your children after school or at sports practice or sports events?
- running errands?
- listening to the radio, talking on the phone or watching a DVD?
What is idling?
Idling is when you leave your car or truck engine running when you don’t need it, for example:
- Outside the coffee shop when you pop in for your morning brew
- When you’re waiting in line outside school
- Warming up the car before you head out
- To run the air conditioner instead of opening a window
Let’s see if we can get you a free latte!
Many people are surprised at how much fuel your car uses whilst it’s idling. We’re here to tell you how much! Vehicles that idle 10 minutes per day waste more than 29 gallons of fuel each year – that’s more than $9 per month – not too much but, that’s a latte for you every other week for as long as you drive.
Idling is unhealthy
Gasoline and Diesel vehicles burn fossil fuels – shocking but true! Actually, they burn quite a lot of fuel, fuel that doesn’t burn cleanly, even when you can’t see it. We all know that running a car in a closed garage is dangerous but, what about running millions of cars in a closed ecosystem?
We can all cut down these emissions by switching off.
- As well as the well-known Carbon Dioxide, gasoline and diesel cars and trucks emit Nitrogen Oxides, Carbon Monoxide, Sulphur Dioxide, unburnt Hydrocarbons and Particulate matter.
- Diesel exhaust is a likely human carcinogen, containing fine particles commonly called “soot”.
- Exhaust emissions worsen asthma, bronchitis, and existing allergies.
- The New England Journal of Medicine reports that exposure to air pollution may cause chronic decreases in lung functions by age 18.
- Children breathe up to 50% more air per pound of body weight than adults, making them more susceptible to both acute and chronic respiratory problems like asthma.
- You are not safe from air pollution inside an idling vehicle, exposure to air pollutants is actually higher inside an idling vehicle than at the roadside. The most exposure occurs in traffic congestion or a line up of idling vehicles such as outside school.
You can get a ticket
Idling vehicles has become such a concern that it has, in fact, been outlawed in many states, New Jersey, New York locally.
The fines for idling vary by state. In New Jersey:
- Idling for more than 3 minutes is PROHIBITED in New Jersey and is not permitted for the purpose of heating or cooling the driver or passengers.
- N.J.A.C. 7:27-14,15 defines the circumstances that determine if you’re idling unnecessarily.
- Fines: $250, $500 then $1,000 for each infraction.
What you can do
1. Know the facts:
- Vehicles that idle 10 minutes per day waste more than 29 gallons of fuel each year.
- An idling vehicle emits 20 times more pollution than one travelling at 30 miles per hour.
- 10 seconds of idling uses more fuel than turning the engine on and off.
- If you are idling, you might as well be burning dollar bills.
- The best way to warm a vehicle is to drive it.
- Emissions are still present and harmful even when you can’t see exhaust.
- In winter conditions, emissions from a cold engine are more than double the normal level. Fuel consumption is also higher in cold weather.
- Idling increases maintenance costs: it leaves fuel residues that contaminate motor oil, make spark plugs dirty and degrade the internal lubrication systems.
2. Take action:
Without costing you any money – we promised free – you can:
- Switch off – if you’re stopped for more than just 10 seconds, consider switching off. It’ll save money and engine wear – even if you restart 20 seconds later!
- Switch off – if you’re stopped for more than just 10 seconds, consider switching off. It’ll save pollution that is contributing to your friends or families asthma.
- Spread the word: Tell your family, friends, neighbours and school bus drivers to stop idling.
- Purchase and install “No Idling Zone” signs to spread awareness (see directions for ordering on www.StopTheSoot.org)
- Encourage your school district to sign the No Idling Pledge, WHRHS already has.
- Support programs that “retrofit” diesel vehicles with emission controls.
- Do not use remote starters.