Adoption Date: 5/17/2005


The Board of Education recognizes the need to promote the health and safety of District students and staff and to protect the environment from harmful emissions found in bus exhaust, in particular diesel exhaust, by eliminating the unnecessary idling of all school buses on school property including all schools within the District or at any school or school related activities to which District students are transported. For purposes of this policy, an "idling school bus" shall mean a school bus that is parked or stopped at a school or other location and has its engine running. This policy applies to the operation of every District-owned and/or contracted school bus. The District shall strive to eliminate all unnecessary idling of school buses such that idling time is minimized in all aspects of school bus operation.

In accordance with the Rules and Regulations of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), excessive idling of certain vehicles is illegal in New York State. State regulations provide in part that buses exceeding 8,500 pounds and designed primarily for transporting persons or properties (i.e., a "heavy duty vehicle") shall not idle for more than five (5) consecutive minutes when not in motion unless otherwise authorized by the regulations. Significantly, the state regulations apply to a heavy duty vehicle whether or not powered by a diesel or non-diesel fueled engine.

Further, the five (5) consecutive minute limitation on idling applies to buses whether owned, operated or leased; or to one who owns, leases or occupies land and has the actual or apparent dominion or control over the operation of the bus present on such land.


Exceptions to the five (5) consecutive minute limitation on idling of school buses will be as enumerated in state regulations and include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. a) The bus is forced to remain motionless because of the traffic conditions over which the driver has no control; and
  1. b) DOT requires the passenger section to be capable of being maintained at fifty (50) degrees Fahrenheit when the outside temperature is less than fifty (50) degrees or an interior temperature of seventy (70) degrees Fahrenheit when the temperature outside is more than eighty (80) degrees.
  1. c) (17 NYCRR 720.4I 1a) “Heaters shall be provided capable of maintaining an inside temperature of at least 50 degrees F when the outside air is at the average minimum temperature (25 degrees) for that area.” NOTE: There is no DOT requirement that the bus already be at 50 degrees before the first student is picked up in the morning.
  1. d) Auxiliary function such as wheelchair lifts IF the operation requires the engine to continue running.
  1. e) When operation of the vehicle is required for maintenance, including necessary pre-trip safety inspections.

Publication of District Policy/Bus Driver Training

This policy shall be posted at the Transportation Department and bus garage; and the Director of Transportation shall provide training to District bus drivers/transportation personnel on the District's idling reduction program and other practices for environmentally friendly bus operations to reduce school bus emissions and minimize exposure to bus exhaust. Appropriate signage shall be posted at each school to remind drivers and school staff of the policy.

Also, as may be applicable, the District shall ensure that each vendor/contract bus company receives a copy of the District policy regarding idling of school buses and shall provide any educational materials, regulations and/or procedures developed by the District with regard to meeting training requirements of the District's idling reduction program. The vendor/contract bus company shall sign for receipt of all of the above documents at the beginning of each school year and shall provide training for all currently employed bus drivers/transportation personnel. The vendor/contract bus company must also ensure that newly hired bus drivers, upon employment, are informed of the District policy and provided appropriate training regarding the idling of school buses.

The provisions of this policy shall be incorporated by reference in all transportation contracts and agreements.

The District shall otherwise publish its School Bus Idling Policy at its discretion which may include publication in the local newspaper and/or annual District calendar.

Sanctions for Violation of District Policy

District employed bus drivers as well as other District employees who are known to have engaged in prohibited behavior with regard to excessive idling of school buses are subject to disciplinary action pursuant to the applicable collective bargaining agreement, as well as the sanctions provided for in law and/or regulations.

Any significant violations by vendors/contract bus companies of District policy and/or regulations regarding excessive idling of school buses shall result in revocation of their contract for the transportation of District students; and they may be subject to sanctions provided for in law and/or regulations.

The District will monitor and enforce compliance with this policy; and any person may report incidents of noncompliance by contacting the Director of Transportation.

Policy References:
State Regulations: 6 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Subpart 217-3

NYC Regulations: New York City Administrative Code Section 24-163

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