Medford, MA No Idling Policy

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Medford, MA, US

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Type: Policy

Status: Adopted in 2005

Source File:




A. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), exposure to diesel exhaust, even at low levels, is a serious health hazard and can cause respiratory problems such as asthma and bronchitis. Diesel emissions are well-documented asthma triggers and may increase the severity of asthma attacks. Asthma is currently the number one cause of missed school days for American children, and asthma affects more than 1 in 9 children in New England.


A. It is the policy of this the City of Medford to continually improve the local air quality and health of Medford’s residents. In an effort to move towards this goal, the City has shaped the No-Idling Policy. This policy applies to the operation of every diesel-powered school bus operating in the district and owned by the signatory school bus company or school district.


A. The Energy & Environment Department in conjunction with each school shall monitor the overall idling within school areas of the City. This monitoring includes answering questions of citizens related to idling and the policy, and overall guidance for school properties regarding reducing idling times.


A. School Bus Fleets

1. School bus drivers will shut off bus engines immediately upon reaching destination, and buses will not idle 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 will not be restarted until they are ready to depart and there is a clear path to exit the pick-up area.
2. School bus companies and drivers will limit idling time during early morning warm-up to manufacturers’ recommendations – generally 3-5 minutes in all but the coldest weather and for the pre-trip safety inspections. Below are guidelines for idling in cold weather. If state standards are more stringent, they supersede these recommendations.
If the outside temperature is: Above 20 degrees F: 5 minute maximum
Between -10 and 20 degrees F :15 minute maximum
Below -10 degrees F: as necessary
3. Our district’s schools will provide an indoor waiting space for drivers who arrive early and need to keep warm. This reduces the need for bus idling.
4. School district bus drivers will complete a “no idling” training session. All bus drivers will receive a copy of this No Idling Policy or equivalent educational materials at the beginning of every school year.
5. Bus companies agree to maintain buses according to manufacturers’ specifications.
6. Exceptions to this policy are granted only when running the engine is necessary to operate required safety equipment or to maintain a safe environment for students with special health needs.