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Anti-Idling Efforts Target School Zones

Caldwell educating residents about idling laws. Keeping parked cars running for more than three minutes is a no-no.

School is in, idling is out.

That's the message Caldwell Environmental Commission Chairman Ann Marchioni is helping to spread.

Marchioni held up one of the "No Idling Zone" signs which will be placed near school zones this fall at Tuesday night's meeting of the Caldwell Council.

The signs are part of an effort to control idling in the borough which started with the council passing an anti-idling ordinance earlier this year.

Not idling can save fuel and money, Marchioni said. 

"Idling for more than 10 seconds uses more fuel than restarting the engine. Ten minutes of idling uses as much fuel as traveling five miles," she said.

Health benefits, she added, are another reason to turn engines off when cars are not in use. 

Idling causes air pollution which is harmful to people with asthma, lung problems and allergies. She said that children are particularly susceptible to air pollution. 

Idling for more than three minutes is against state law, according to Caldwell Police Chief James Bongiorno.

"It's a law that has been in place since 2010 that most people are not aware of," Bongiorno said. "Our main objective is to raise awareness and to educate."

The chief said officers will be handing out pamphlets outside schools to teach parents about the idling law. Offenders are subject to a $250 fine. 

Bongiorno said the law applies to parked cars, not those sitting in traffic. 

The Caldwell Environmental Commission will be at the on Friday, Sept. 14. Children will be able to make their own anti-idling bookmarks and will receive a free book, "Why is Coco Orange?" along with coloring pages and puzzles about air quality.

Akiko Tawarada-Axe September 05, 2012 at 04:06 PM
Great info! "Idling for more than 10 seconds uses more fuel than restarting the engine. Ten minutes of idling uses as much fuel as traveling five miles". This motivates me to turn off the engine.
WCaldwelldweller September 05, 2012 at 05:14 PM
This may be important to Ms. Marchioni and perhaps one or two others, (doubtful) but I can only assume that the Caldwell PD most likely has better things to and that the money and labor spent on the signs could be put to better use.
Concern4Caldwell September 05, 2012 at 08:31 PM
Really.... Are you kidding me? You have way too much time on your hands. Caldwell PD has much more to worry about than this. Oh wait, it’s an election year. Pete and company must be behind it. The stupidity of this shows that.
steve September 06, 2012 at 02:27 AM
get a job and stop wasting people time, money and space lololololo
Let's keep Caldwell safe September 06, 2012 at 06:17 PM
Are you responders kidding me? (Not directed to Akiko) This is a NJ state law. They didn't pull it out of their back sides, and it makes sense. You 3 Caldwell "haters" can feel free to idle your cars and donate $250 to our town.
WCaldwelldweller September 06, 2012 at 08:50 PM
Oh, it's a law, therefore it must be a good idea. Sorry for having a different opinion. That does not make me a "hater".
Let's keep Caldwell safe September 06, 2012 at 09:31 PM
I don't believe I used the word therefore, which would have implied that I believe every law is a good idea. Trust me, that is far from true. I do however, think that environmentally this one is (MY opinion).
steve September 06, 2012 at 10:07 PM
Listen folks If the best we can do with our hard earned tax dollars is waste them on nonsense like monitoring these hardened criminals who idle their own cars more then 3 minutes then we should cut some police officers and Caldwell politicians and really save the taxpayers some money!!! I've never heard anything more ridiculous in my life.....lolololololo

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