Friday, March 13, 2009

New York City Strengthens Anti-Idling Laws

Last month, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed legislation reducing the amount of time that vehicles can idle near schools and expanding the city's enforcement of idling laws. Under the new law, which does not apply to emergency service vehicles, the legal idling time is reduced from three minutes to one minute. The law also encourages greater public awareness by requiring that applicants for licenses to operate for–hire vehicles demonstrate their knowledge of idling laws.

According to the Environmental Defense Fund's August 2008 report Idling Gets You Nowhere, idling cars and trucks in New York City annually produce 760 tons of smog-forming nitrogen oxides, the equivalent of 3,000 large trucks each driving one million miles. They also produce 100,000 tons of carbon dioxide, which contributes to global warming. Citywide, idling also wastes on average 14,000 gallons of gasoline and 11,000 gallons of diesel each day.

Debunking 5 Myths about Idling
  1. Idling does not warm up the engine efficiently or effectively.
  2. Although idling powers heating and cooling systems, it creates harmful in–cabin pollution.
  3. Idling does not reduce engine and ignition starter wear compared with restarting.
  4. Restarting the engine does not require more fuel if the vehicle will be stopped for more than ten seconds.
  5. Running the engine will not avoid a ticket by creating the appearance that the driver is not parked or will return shortly – it is still a violation of New York City and State law.

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Clean Air NY is sponsored by the New York State Department of Transportation in support of regionwide air-quality efforts.

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