MAMARONECK, N.Y. Michaela Zeuss of Mamaroneck hopes parents and caregivers will turn off their cars while waiting in the drop-off and pickup lines at schools on April 23 for the first-ever Sound Shore No Idling Day.
While area schools have had no-idling days in the past, this year they are collaborating with the villages of Mamaroneck and Larchmont, the Town of Mamaroneck and the City of Rye to raise awareness about idling cars, or cars parked with the motor running.
"Idling vehicles can easily be stolen or cause damage if accidentally engaged, and idling for more than 10 seconds burns more gas than it takes to restart the engine," said Zeuss, co-chair of the Village of Mamaroneck Committee on the Environment. "So reducing idling is beneficial to health, safety and our wallets.
Zeuss came up with the idea to bring together the municipalities' environmental committees and the schools' green committees around this cause.
"The goal is to change the behavior," Zeuss said. "Do I know if it's going to really change the behavior? I don't know. But I hope that it does."
There are laws against idling a vehicle engine longer than three minutes in the villages of Mamaroneck and Larchmont and the City of Rye. Beyond that, idling for 10 minutes a day is equivalent to more than 27 gallons a year in gas, according to a statement by the Town of Mamaroneck. Idling emits nearly 20 times more air pollution than when traveling 32 mph.
"Sometimes people dont even realize theyre idling at school or train pickup," said Anne McAndrews, mayor of Larchmont.
While each participating entity is free to handle No Idling Day differently, Zeuss said, all schools will circulate a pledge for parents to sign, and an informational brochure.
Schools participating in No Idling Day include the following:
- Bellows Elementary School
- Daniel Warren Elementary School
- Larchmont Avenue School
- Murray Avenue School
- Mamaroneck Avenue School
- Rye Country Day School
- Milton School
- Osborn School
- Midland Avenue School
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