LOUISVILLE, Ky. — After implementing a no-idling policy for its school buses a few years ago, a Kentucky district has now posted signs at schools asking parents to turn off their cars while they wait to pick up their kids.
The new signs, installed beside car-rider lines at the 90 elementary schools in Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS), carry the message: "The JCPS district is a no-idle zone. Protect our children. Turn off your engine."
Back-to-school letters being sent to parents are also highlighting the initiative.
"Idling creates clouds of exhaust around schools," the district said in an announcement. "Concentrated exhaust increases allergies and asthma symptoms. Asthma is the most common chronic illness in children, and it’s the cause of most school absences."
Mike Mulheirn, JCPS director of facilities and transportation, told The Courier-Journal that it cost the district $540 to design and print the signs. There are at least two at each elementary school.
"Parents who comply not only help clear the air but also save money," the district announcement said. "Just 10 seconds of idling can use more gas than turning off the engine and restarting it. Two minutes of idling uses about the same amount of gas it takes to drive a mile."
The no-idling policy for the district's school buses began with the 2007-08 school year. The buses are not allowed to idle anywhere, except for when a supervisor deems the outside temperature too cold.