Bill Memo: Education on the Impacts of Idling

1-Tree: Beneficial rating

Summary

This legislation amends the Vehicle and Traffic Law by adding a new section, 224-b, to establish the idle engine health and environmental impact program. The Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles will work in coordination with the Commissioner of Health and the Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation to implement the program provide increased awareness of state laws on idling and vehicle emissions through education and advocacy. Drivers will receive information on the environmental and health effects of idling when applying for or renewing a driver’s license.

Explanation

This bill will help educate the public on the environmental and health impacts of idling an internal combustion engine. Vehicles that are operated by an internal combustion engine produce emissions that are bad for the planet and public health, and idling these vehicles results in unnecessary pollution.

Currently New York State law prohibits the act of turning on a vehicle and leaving it running while unattended, while municipalities such as Westchester and New York City take it a step further by prohibiting idling for more than 3 minutes. These laws can provide health benefits as they prevent pollution that contributes to climate change such as carbon dioxide, as well as co-pollutants that have severe health impacts such particulate matter 2.5 which has been linked to increased rates of asthma, diabetes, and heart disease. By educating residents on the environmental and health consequences of idling, unnecessary pollution may be prevented.

This bill would be more impactful if rather than providing information to those who apply for or renew a license it was instead provided to those who apply for or renew their vehicle registration. The latter occurs every 2 years while the former is only required every 8 years.

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Environmental Advocates NY Bill Rating: Beneficial

Memo #: 54