The Seine River School Division is among the pioneering schools and school divisions that are creating and implementing anti-idling for their schools and fleets.
The division has been following an anti-idling policy, which discourages all vehicles from having their engines running while standing still, since 2008.
Wayne Pearon, the Transportation Supervisor, says, “We are really impressed with the policy and it is very important to us.” They are pro-active in their approach because, “We are trying to set an example to parents and visitors, who are encouraged to turn off their engines while waiting to pick up their children.”
When they have the opportunity, the schools’ staff educates the schools and the communities about why it is important not to idle.
Wayne gives the following advice to school divisions looking to adopt the policy, “You need a statement saying who the anti-idling policy will apply to, and why you wish to pursue the policy.” Which, in Seine River’s case, was to eliminate emissions and make the school a healthier place for children, staff and visitors.
The Seine River School Division enforces the policy by having posting signs around their schools, and they also talk to parents and visitors about the policy.
A major component of the policy is that the bus drivers are educated on how the policy works, and what they can and cannot do.
There are, however, a few limitations to the policy that have been built in to balance the need for reducing greenhouse gas emissions with existing health and safety regulations. In the colder, winter months, the policy can’t be as affective because the busses need to be warm before the children load them, for health reasons. Also, when the busses are loading and unloading children, the lights need to be on for safety reasons, which require the engine to be running.
Seine River isn’t the only school division taking action: Portage la Prairie and Beautiful Plains School Divisions also have anti-idling policies up and running. Portage La Prairie’s anti-idling policy is strictly for busses, but they are looking into expanding the policy to all visitors of the schools.
If you are interested in starting an anti-idling policy for your school, please email us or call 204- 943-4836.
Wayne Pearon, Transportation Supervisor, Seine River School Division, Winnipeg
Story submitted by: Francine Pym