So what can Government do? Creating enforcable idling by-laws is a start
To help curb the health and environmental hazards of idling, many jurisdirictions have passed anti-idling regulations in the last few years. Some of the most extreme are in Utah, where a first-time idling violation brings a $1,000 fine and/or up to six months in prison, and New York state, where a first-time violation can bring a fine up to $15,000.
Some other fines for idling around the United States:
- Las Vegas: $10,000 maximum fine
- Hawaii: 3 minutes of idling will cost you $25 to $2,500
- Denver: 10 minutes of idling in an hour will bring a fine of $999 and/or one-year imprisonment
- Virginia: 10 minutes of idling in a residential or commercial zone carries a fine up to $25,000
These laws are a good start to solving the problem, but in order to make an impact, they need to be enforced, which isn’t always the case. New York City made its anti-idling laws more strict in 2009, but then was criticized for loosely enforcing them. Where the city issues some 10 million parking tickets every year, it only issues a few thousand idling tickets despite the fact that the rule, which allows for no more than 1 minute of idling when near a school, is so frequently violated. In Philadelphia, however, the Clean Air Council crowdsources citizens to help enforce idling laws by providing an easy way to report violations through a web-based tool at www.idlefreephilly.org.
If your city does not have anti-idling bylaws, you can petition the city council to put bylaws in place. And we can help with supporting materials to make the case against idling. Get in touch.