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Idle-Free NYC

Did you know that 25% of all New York City School children are affected by asthma?  May 5th was World Asthma Day and Idle-Free NYC Day, and supporters gathered at City Hall to celebrate new legislation, Intro 631-A, that reduces the time a motor vehicle can idle in a school zone from three minutes to one.  The law also says that the Environmental Control Board and the Department of Finance have to file annual reports on the number of idling violations issued and the total value of penalties assessed.  A new bill, proposed by Senator Daniel Squadron, calls for a city-wide one minute idling law.  For resources, tools, and information about how you can take action against idling, visit Asthma Free School Zones and Idle-Free NYC.  Also visit Livable Streets Education for cirriculum integration ideas and information.

Rebecca Kalin: [0:19] Today is the second year of the Idle Free NYC campaign, and what we are doing is celebrating the efforts of New Yorkers to reduce engine idling in New York. [0:32] Our most valued player is the New York City Council, which has passed a one minute school zone idling law, which limits all vehicle idling near schools to one minute.
John Liu: [0:42] Idling the engines outside schools has a tremendously detrimental... A direct detriment to the kids inside the schools.
Leticia James: [0:51] A significant number of children in my district, particularly children who live in public housing, all along the BQE, which is often known as the Lead Belt, suffer from asthma.
Eugene Varnedoe: [1:00] Innocent children, they didn't do anything, have died or acquired respiratory diseases like asthma. And Asthma Free School Zones is helping that.
Wiley Norvell: [1:08] Take your kids to school the way you got there when you were a kid, walking or biking.
Kim Wiley-Schwartz: [1:13] Livable Streets is currently piloting Asthma Free Schools Zone's new curriculum, which is developed for fourth and seventh grade. It teaches students about asthma, some of the science behind breathing, and how to raise awareness among the adults in the community about the harm of idling out side of schools.
Kim Wiley-Schwartz: [1:29] So, we're here today at the Lower Lab School to celebrate Idle Free NYC day. This is a day where the kids ask grown ups to turn off their vehicles when they drop off and pick up their kids.
Speaker: [1:40] Thank you for not idling.
Speaker: [1:41] Idling harms health, hurts air quality...
Speaker: [1:44] ...And is against the law.
Speaker: [1:45] I absolutely agree, especially living in the city.
Speaker: [1:48] No idling in front of schools for more than one minute.
Eugene Varnedoe: [1:53] If you think that we concerned schoolchildren are just repeating our parents' or teachers' opinions, I'm here to say that you are wrong. This issue it not only for adults. As citizens of New York, children too are concerned about the health effects of bus idling and with idling in general. [2:07] We care about it. We care about it a great deal, and so should you.


Rebecca Kalin: [2:14] And we hope this is the first step towards a city wide one minute idling law. We'll be the first city in the country to have it. We were the first city in the country to have one for the school zone, and I think New York will be a model for other cities. [music]


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  • http://idlefreevt.org Wayne Michaud

    Awareness of unnecessary vehicle idling (when parked) is dawning. It's comparable smoking/tobacco awareness in the 60s. While there are idle-free campaigns and an increasing number of no idling laws, we have a long way to go. This is a great campaign to target idling at its most harmful: the children. Thank you to Idle-Free NYC for educating us about idling which is not only a health hazard, but contributes to climate change, wastes energy and wastes our money.

  • Ruth Smith

    Great ideas! Even in the small village where I live the residents next to the Post Office always told people to turn their cars off while they went in to get their mail as their "idling" was totally unecessary and harmful to the air quality in teh center of the village. Kudos to you!!

  • Colin Shepard

    Thank you for making a video on this important topic.

  • PedaPeneRek

    laws are fine but they have to be enforced.  which they are NOT.