You may have noticed the new Blue Zone signs that went this month with the red “No Idling Per State Law” addition.
What is idling and why does it matter?
Vehicle idling is when a driver leaves a vehicle running while it is parked. Idling increases the amount of harmful emissions a vehicle produces. Vehicle emissions are more concentrated at ground level where kids are standing—and breathing. Children breathe more air per pound of body weight than do adults. For this reason, they take in proportionately higher “doses” of any pollutants, which enter their lungs and, in some cases, bloodstream. Children are more biologically vulnerable to pollution from idling vehicles and the child with the highest exposure to pollutants may be your own; in a line of idling vehicles, pollutant levels may also be elevated inside your vehicle as well as outside.
What can you do to protect your child’s health?
For parents and caregivers at arrival and dismissal, it’s simple:
- If you will be waiting for more than 10 seconds, turn off the engine.
- Remind other drivers to do the same.
For more on why you should stop idling, visit https://www.facebook.com/NewtonSafeRoutes/.
If you would like to join the Zervas Safe Routes to School committee, email email@example.com