The NY Daily News reported last Friday about New York City’s use of (Old School) Rock Legend Billy Idol in a campaign to cut down on Engine Idling by trucks in NYC. Trucks and buses that stand without moving and keep their engines on are obviously harmful to the environment. That is a reasonable assumption. It is a scientific fact. Auto emissions definitely pollute the air we all breathe.
NYC is now encouraging citizens who witness trucks or buses that idle their engines to file complaints with the city. The whistle blowers will receive 25 percent of fines collected by the city. The fines are $350. Is this reasonable? Does the term vigilante come to mind? I am not sure. On the plus side, your average citizen is in place throughout the City to actually witness these offenses.
Would people want to “snitch” on drivers who might honestly forget to turn off their engines? Or, would the “Whistle Blower” think the benefit to the environment is worth the complaint? Twenty five percent of $350 is a fair amount of money for paying attention and being a good citizen, right?
The law prohibits drivers from keeping engines on while standing or parked for more than 3 minutes. While the efforts to help the environment are admirable, perhaps Mayor de Blasio should focus on more pressing concerns such as…
Stepping up efforts to prevent auto accident fatalities. Every time I read the newspaper, I read about several pedestrian fatalities. The number is greater this year for the first two months of 2020.
So, what can the City and State do? To date, the City has encouraged Police Officers to write more summons for Failure to Yield to Pedestrians. This is one option for a safer City. Police Officers in New York City issued 6,801 Failure to Yield to Pedestrian tickets in January, 2019. During that same time period in 2020 Officers issued 8,461. That is a fair sized increase.
Another option for decreasing engine idling might be a massive educational program. Maybe they can find another Cultural Icon to promote safety.
We spoke with Peter Hein of Rachel Cho Floral Design in Manhattan for a client perspective. Peter shared, “We are a small NYC-based business that delivers flowers in all boroughs of New York City. For the past 15 years we have striven to deliver a quality, fragile product quickly and cost effectively. We are clearly in support of improving congestion in our City. We are aware of the impact of our trucks on the environment. Flowers need to be delivered, often needing a personal touch. As we have learned more about the environmental impact, we have instructed all of our drivers to turn off their engines immediately upon parking their vehicles. We do not leave them idling at all. Why not do better than the minimum standard? Let us also not forget that flowers enhance the air we breathe. Flowers and plants pull in carbon dioxide and expel oxygen.”
The jury is not yet out on this topic New York City is clearly moving forward with engaging the average citizen in catching trucks and buses idling their engines. Which side of this argument are you on? Please let us know.