Idling Parents Risk $100 Fine

A new regulation will fine parents who run their engines outside schools

Little Johnny may be walking home from now on.

Parents who idle their engines outside their children's school for more than a minute will now face a $100 fine, thanks to a new bill passed this week by the City Council.

The new policy is an attempt to control health problems, such asthma, heart disease, and cancer caused by engine fumes in the city. According to statistics in the bill, children in New York City are more than twice as likely to be hospitalized for asthma than children living in the rest of the United States.

"Because engine idling exacerbates these problems while producing little benefit, idling restrictions should reduce air pollution problems without creating severe inconveniences for City drivers," the bill says.

The bill will allow city officials, including the NYPD, the Sanitation Department, the Parks Department and the Department of Environmental Protection to issue tickets to any vehicles "adjacent to any public or nonpublic school providing instruction from pre-K through 12th grade."

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