New Castle officials pledge to cut their engines
Vail., CO Colorado
NEW CASTLE, Colorado – Leaders in New Castle have signed a pledge to do their part to affect climate change by example, rather than local regulation.
While some municipalities have adopted their own ordinances against idling vehicles, the New Castle Climate Action Advisory Commission has convinced the town’s elected trustees and mayor to sign a pledge to reduce excessive idling of their own vehicles in town and throughout the county.
In March, the climate commission volunteers invited town council members to sign pledges to not idle their vehicles longer than 30 seconds, unless necessary for safety reasons.
The response was unanimous, and most of the town staff members have also taken the pledge.
Town Administrator Andy Barton implemented a restricted idling policy for the municipal fleet, and the Town Council has endorsed enforcement of the current state law that prohibits leaving an unattended vehicle idling.
“The commission’s idling reduction program will not only help the town work toward the greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals outlined in the town’s Climate Action Plan adopted last year, but reduced idling will also help improve air quality and protect public health,” according to a press release from the advisory commission. “Emissions from idling have been found to aggravate breathing problems, such as asthma, especially in children and seniors.”
According to the commission, research shows that more than 10 seconds of vehicle idling uses more fuel than restarting an engine.
“Also, experts agree that driving them gently is the best way to warm up all electronic fuel-injected vehicles, including cars, vans, pickups, SUVs and diesel-powered engines.”
Town leaders are hopeful that with education, ordinances against idling – such as those in force in some area communities – won’t be necessary in New Castle.
The New Castle idling reduction program is also serving as a pilot test for Garfield County’s Public Health Department. The town commission is also working with area schools to encourage drivers to reduce idling to protect students’ health.
Non-idling pledge cards and other information are available at http://www.newcastlecolorado.org.