Cleveland, OH Anti Idling Policy

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Cleveland, OH, US

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Type: Policy

Status: In effect

Source File:


Reduce Vehicle Idling
Vehicle idling gets zero miles per gallon; unnecessary idling wastes fuel and pollutes. Running an engine at low speed (idling) also causes twice the wear on internal parts compared to driving at regular speeds. The break-even point for shutting off and restarting gasoline engines or leaving it to idle is 30 seconds – from the point of view of both emissions and fuel consumption.

Over the last several years, Northeast Ohio and the City of Cleveland have been attempting to lessen pollutants that pose a detriment to the region’s air quality. These pollutants include nitrogen oxide, carbon dioxide, particulate matter, and volatile organic compounds. However, the region is still in a non-attainment status.

Idling of vehicles consumes approximately 17% of the fuel that a vehicle has on board. Effective immediately, unless exempted in the following section, no City vehicle or piece of equipment is to be idled in a non-emergency situation. The operator of the vehicle/equipment is to turn-off the unit and the keys are to be removed from the ignition.

The following situations will allow idling, as needed:

1. Emergency vehicles at scenes where lights, PTOs, and/or other accessories are needed to accomplish the mission;
2. Division of Police vehicles working traffic enforcement details;
3. Department of Public Service, Department of Parks, Recreation and Properties, Department of Public Utilities, and Department of Port Control vehicles at job sites requiring the use of emergency lights, PTOs, and/or other accessories to accomplish their assignment; and
4. Inclement weather situations and the supervisor authorizes the use of the vehicle/equipment heater-defroster for the work crew’s comfort according to the guidelines listed below;
If the outside temperature is: Above 32 degrees F: 5 minute maximum
Between -10 and 32 degrees F; 15 minute maximum
Below -10 degrees F: as necessary

NOTE: Operators of vehicle/equipment and supervisors will be judicious in the idling of units at emergency scenes and job sites. If not all the units at the scene/site need to be idling, those units must be turned-off and the keys removed from the ignition.

Each vehicle/equipment operator will be responsible for the idling operation of their unit and will have the unit keys in their possession to ensure that crewmembers do not arbitrarily violate the policy without the operator’s knowledge.

Supervisors in each department/division will be responsible for the adherence and enforcement of the idling policy. Violations of the policy are will be documented as to the vehicle/equipment operator, vehicle code, location, date and time, weather conditions, and circumstances of the violation. The vehicle/equipment operator will be informed of the violation by the supervisor at the time of the infraction.

The appointing authority of each department/division will be responsible for the discipline of employees found to be violating the policy. Discipline will be per City of Cleveland disciplinary procedures, any union contract, and in a progressive manner.