Westchester County NY Outlaws Automotive Idling

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
westchester county ny outlaws automotive idling

“Westchester County lawmakers last night made it illegal for drivers to keep their vehicles running for three minutes or more while parked.” Now I’m sure TTAC’s Best and Brightest will be all abuzz with lots of reasons why this idea makes no sense at all (kids roasting/freezing to death), defines “unenforceable,” doesn’t make any sense and violates Americans’ constitutional right to not be hassled by the government for stupid ass shit. But all that counts for naught compared to our collective responsibility to “reduce dangerous emissions like carbon dioxide that contribute to Westchester’s poor air quality and to global warming.” This according to Thomas Abinanti, D-Greenburgh, the bill’s sponsor. “Climate change is the defining issue of the 21st century,” Abinanti told LoHud.com. “We can do our part by not adding to the problem. Idling uses more gas and is worse for vehicles than turning your car off. Most idling is not only wasteful, but unnecessary.” Most? Not all? Westchester motorists who find themselves on the wrong end of a cop’s stop watch could be fined up to $250. [Miss you Glenn]

Robert Farago
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  • Whatdoiknow1 Whatdoiknow1 on Nov 12, 2008

    : Maybe, just maybe, a plurality or majority of the folks that care and are active in local politics in Westchester County have asked for this! IF you are not active in politcs and have a contray opinion it is your fault that it is not being considered. It is a given this plurality is not made up primarily of auto-enthusaist. That is why a say we must give a little to be able to enjoy what we love. The folks that make the laws can not make assumptions that every car on the road is new and is good repair. There are still many, many older cars on our roads that are not as clean as the newer models. All it takes is one "bad" car with a old exhuast system and burnt out cat to reek havoc on a confined street with hundreds of apartment dwellers injesting said fumes and pollution. I have not even factored in the weather conditions. There are also far more vehicles on the road today than in the past. Lets now factor in the amount of "non-passanger" cars that are being used as everyday vehicles today that are not subject to the same emission standards as your average new sedan. Correct me if I am wrong but SUVs, Pickups, and CUVs classified as light -trucks do not have to meet the same standards as passanger cars. Now lets factor in dozens of lding cars and "light-trucks" (of all vintage) within a two block area (common in many commercial districts) and needless to say it starts to add up. If todays newer cars are so clean than why not put your face right at the tailpipe and breathe in the exhaust for a good 3 minutes and than tell us how well you are feeling afterwards. A 2009 model car is still putting out enough carbon dioxide to kill you in an inclosed place, am I not correct? So it is a given that what is coming out the tailpipe is NOT all that clean. My point is why argue of a simple flick of the wrist or a push of a button? I can remember when we still had a lot of folks that refused to wear seatbelts, claiming it is their "Right", forgetting that they carelessness was only raising all of OUR insurance rates and consuming public resources to scrap their smashed up body off our street after they managed to eject themselves through their windshields. Now dont get me wrong I am NOT a "bleeding heart liberal" BUT I do respect the fact that I do share this world with billions of other people that also has rights and personal desires just like me. I also know that the people that do not appreicate the stuff I do have their only power to make my life less fun and happy. As an auto-enthusaist I KNOW I am outnumbered by those that could careless about the love of cars. For this I will give them the benefit of the doubt and simply turn off my car and not idle it.

  • R H R H on Nov 12, 2008

    Nobody has addressed my motorcycle comment. How about instead of this "idling" law, they make a law that REQUIRES cat converters on ALL motorcycles. I have even had friends LOOKING for one for their sportbikes & can't find one. Supposedly this is coming in 2010/2011 (phase 1) and it's supposed to reduce co emissions by 50%. Estimated cost per motorcycle? $50.

  • Landcrusher Landcrusher on Nov 12, 2008

    Robstar, I suspect you are correct that motorcycles are not very clean on a per gallon basis; however, that's not an important thing. How are motorcycles on a per mile basis?

  • Brandloyalty Brandloyalty on Nov 13, 2008

    I was under the impression that idling has a tendency to dilute your oil with unburned gas. And that despite what owners seem to believe, there's less wear on diesel engines being shut off and restarted than left idling. Then they carp about the price of gas. Sheesh.