Motor vehicles weighing over 14,000 pounds are prohibited from idling for more than five minutes within the City of Dallas, and several other areas throughout North Texas. Previously, this ordinance was in effect only April through October. As of November 7, 2011, the ordinance is in effect ALL YEAR.
The purpose of the anti-idling ordinance is to help improve air quality in Dallas and throughout the nine-county ozone non-attainment region. Transportation accounts for more than 70 percent of the air pollution that leads to the formation of ozone. Idling needlessly contributes the component emissions to the chemistry of ozone formation so shutting off the engine can go a long way toward improving air quality.
Many believe idling uses less fuel than shutting off and restarting an engine. Idling for ten seconds can use as much gas as restarting your engine. Shut it off while waiting and save some money. Others believe that idling helps warm the engine to make things run better, including emissions controls. Idling does not get the engine warm enough to do any good; driving heats the engine to get the emissions controls working. Additionally, excessive idling can reduce the engine life by building up carbon on combustion elements and damage exhaust systems by condensing water in your tailpipe leading to corrosion and eventual repairs.
The U.S. EPA estimates that IDLING is responsible for:
- Over one billion gallons of diesel fuel consumed annually in the U.S.
- Over 11 million tons of carbon dioxide, 200 thousand tons of nitrogen oxides, and 5,000 tons of particulate matter emitted annually in the U.S.
- Increased engine maintenance costs and a 20 percent decrease in engine life
- Impaired driver health
Reduce Idling at Schools
Parents want what is best for their children. Yet every day, hundreds of cars and buses idle needlessly while waiting for children after school. No one wants their child standing near an idling tailpipe, exposing their little lungs to the damaging effects of idling, but everyday it happens. Shut off your vehicle while waiting for your student. Encourage your school to put up signs asking parents and bus drivers to shut off engines.
Schools can order an anti-idling sign or brochures here. (One sign and post are offered free. There will be a charge for additional signs and posts. Brochures are free.)
Reduce Idling at Work
Trucks and vehicles loading and unloading materials or people often idle for convenience. These emissions can move indoors to work spaces through ventilation systems and open passages, exposing workers to noxious emissions.
Businesses can order an anti-idling sign or brochures here. (One sign is offered free. There will be a charge for additional signs. Brochures are free.)
To Report an Idling Vehicle
If you see a vehicle over 14,000 pounds idling for over 5 minutes, please dial 311 and report the vehicle’s license plate number to the operator.
If outside the Dallas city limits, call 1-877-NTX-IDLE.
You can also report idling vehicles online.