Idling wastes money, impacts health, and effects the environment. Children are particularly vulnerable to the pollutants in exhaust, which can be dangerously concentrated as buses and parents wait to pick up and drop off students at school. That’s why Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) has created Idle Free MD, a program intended to reduce idling in Maryland communities.
Through a coordinated effort with Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE), Idle Free MD provides resources to assist schools in developing and implementing their own idle reduction policies. They encourage school bus fleet managers and contractors to talk to professional drivers about how idle reduction protects everyone inside and outside of the school bus, and to set examples in safety.
MSDE encourages school bus service providers and drivers to take the pledge to be idle free in all Maryland school districts, and share their support on social media using #IdleFreeMD. With everyone’s support, the program will become a benchmark for student safety in school districts nationwide.