Anti-Idling April



by Prottusha Sarkar

Idling is a common practice among New Jersey drivers. But did you know that idling for longer than ten seconds uses more fuel than restarting your car? Or that there is a Glen Rock Ordinance outlawing idling for more than three minutes?

Sylvia Rabacchi at the Glen Rock Environmental Commission (GREC) teamed up with the Borough, the Police Department, and the students from the middle and high school to combat idling during the month of April 2015. The GREC sponsored a town-wide Anti-Idling campaign during the month: “Idle Free April: turn the key – be idle free”, to create awareness about the detrimental effects that Idling can cause.

Rabacchi and several High and Middle School students worked together at all of the public schools in Glen Rock to spread information about the act. Idling harms the community in various ways, a few of which include aggravating asthma, contributing to Climate Change, and potentially toxic to children.

The actual campaign kicked off the week following Spring Break at Central School. With the help of Mayor Van Keuren over “600 fliers from the NJ DEP” were handed out as well as numerous ‘Anti-Idling Pledges’ where drivers pledged to abstain from Idling whenever possible.

Rabacchi actively participated by executing much groundwork and planning the campaign. She was”impressed by the enthusiasm shown by all anti-idling campaign team members: mostly a group of energetic and passionate HS and MS students concerned about the environment and health.”

Even the helpers themselves learned a thing or two about Idling. Ian Crawford (’16) said, “I learned a lot about how idling is actually illegal in New Jersey [under certain conditions] and a lot of other places.”

According to the New Jersey Administrative Code for the control and prohibition of air pollution from diesel-powered motor Vehicles, “no person shall cause, suffer, allow, or permit the engine of a gasoline-fueled motor vehicle to idle for more than three consecutive minutes if the vehicle is not in motion.”

Besides learning, Crawford and other high school students participated in the making of an informational-yet humorous Anti-Idling video. In it, the students debunk commonly-held beliefs regarding Idling and correct them with the actual facts.

Idling, whether it be from a minivan or a pickup truck, continues to be an extremely common practice despite its harmful impact on people and the planet. Rabacchi and all those involved in the campaign continue in their mission to make the world a better place(even if April is over), and implore the public to rethink their choices when it comes to Idling. Turn your Key and be Idle-Free!