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ANTI-IDLING

 

Idling vehicles pollute the air and present several health and environmental hazards.  It is the policy of the Georgetown School District to develop and implement measures to eliminate unnecessary idling of vehicles and to educate and inform school department employees and residents about the health and environmental effects of gasoline and diesel exhaust.

Massachusetts General Law (MGL Chapter 90, Sections 16A, 16B) and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) idling reduction regulations (310 CMR 7.11(1)(b)) both prohibit unnecessary vehicle idling by stating that vehicle engines must be shut down if a vehicle will be stopped for more than five minutes.  Exemptions include:  1) the vehicle is being serviced and the idling is required to repair the vehicle; or 2) the vehicle is making deliveries and needs to keep its engine running (to power refrigerators, for example); and 3) the vehicle’s accessory equipment needs to be powered, such as a fork lift or a truck’s rear dump bed, or a wheelchair lift in a bus or van.

In order to reduce the health and environmental effects of vehicle exhaust, comply with the state’s idling reduction regulation and law, and decrease our use of fuel by reducing unnecessary idling, the following actions shall be implemented to the maximum extent practicable and in collaboration with the school bus transportation provider where applicable.

 

1.         School bus drivers will shut off bus engines upon reaching destination, and buses will not idle for more than five minutes while waiting for passengers.  This rule applies to all bus use including daily route travel, field trips, and transportation to and from athletic events.  School buses should not be restarted until they are ready to depart and there is a clear path to exit the pickup area.

2.         Signage will be posted expressly prohibiting the idling of all vehicles for more than five minutes in the school zone.

3.         Bus drivers can wait inside the school building if they arrive early and need to keep warm.

4.         Transportation operations staff will evaluate and shorten bus routes whenever possible, particularly for older buses with the least effective emissions control.

5.         All school district bus drivers will complete a “no idling” training sessions at least once.  All bus drivers will receive a copy of the school district’s No Idling Policy at the beginning of every school year.

6.         Exceptions to this policy are appropriate only when running an engine is necessary to operate required safety equipment, such as flashing lights or perform other functions that require engine-assisted power (e.g., waste hauling vehicles, handicap accessible vehicles, etc.).

 

 LEGAL REFS.:          M.G.L. 90:16A, 16B

                                    DEP (310 CMR 7.11 (1)(b)

 

Adopted on:                January 22, 2015

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