Strategy #2: Anti-Idling Requirements and Training

Recommended Actions

Anti-idling policies

Anti-idling policies restrict the amount of time that a vehicle can idle its main engine.

  • In the State of California, unnecessary idling of California’s Department of Transportation (Caltrans) fleet vehicles and equipment was forbidden by Deputy Directive 96, issued in 2008. Idling is only allowable while in traffic, during vehicle maintenance, while providing power to equipment, and when idling is necessary to prevent emergency situations.
  • The City of Portland maintains an idle reduction policy for its city fleet vehicles and requires vendors in loading areas to comply with a similar idle reduction approach.
  • The City of Seattle’s Purchasing Department includes a general vehicle anti-idling requirement in all City contracts, requiring the City vendors and contractors to adopt anti-idling practices to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • A comprehensive list of idling regulations across the country is kept up to date by the American Transportation Research Institute.

Reduced idling decreases fuel consumption and the associated costs and GHG emissions. Adoption of an anti-idling policy through employee training or monitoring is an effective method to reduce emissions.

Education and incentives play an important role in changing behavior by informing the driver or operator about the adverse impacts of unnecessary idling on emissions, fuel consumption, engine wear, and potential health risks, as well as by encouraging desired behaviors. Companies may institute an idle reduction policy that includes training for their drivers on vehicle operation procedures to improve efficiency.

Computer programs may be used to monitor the amount of time that vehicles spend idling.