"No Idling" in Muscogee County school zones - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

EducationWatch

"No Idling" in Muscogee County school zones

By Taylor Barnhill  - bio | email | Twitter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - You may see a large increase in traffic Thursday morning as Muscogee County students head back to school, but what some parent's may not know, is the school system is implementing a new policy for drivers.

It's a new school year and with that comes a new policy. Muscogee County is implementing a "No Idling" policy for parents, students and bus drivers.

Myles B. Caggins Jr. is the Chief of Operations and Facilities Officer with the Muscogee County School District. He told News Leader Nine, "Buses produce a lot of them and so do automobiles and we have a lot of them at our schools every day. We don't want the concentrations to build up around the schools because the kids will inhale those fumes."

The school district teamed up with the Clean Air Campaign to help reduce exhaust particles and save on energy costs. Caggins hopes parents will use the honor system with the new policy, "Part of the program engages the children to help the parents remember that no idling is the policy of the school district."

The biggest culprit is school buses. Caggins says all drivers will be instructed to turn off the engines whenever they are not moving, "For diesel engines we have to let them idle down for three to five minutes so it might look like they aren't complying with the no idling policy but that's a requirement for the engines."

Of course there will be some exceptions for extreme temperatures and handicap buses. "We are required to have the engines running in order to have the lifts operate at full power at all times," said Caggins.

The school district hopes parents will be understanding of the changes. Caggins added, "We will continue to do that for two main reasons -- reduction of emissions and saving fuel." 

In instances of emergencies, safety concerns and other extreme conditions, buses will be aloud to idle, but in most cases, the school system says turn off those engines.

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