Dear Community Members,
On August 31, Wellesley’s Select Board voted to amend the Town’s Traffic Regulations to include an Anti-Idling violation. This violation, which has a $15 fine, mirrors the state anti-idling violation, which has a $100 fine.
Specifically, the regulation states that no person shall cause, suffer, allow or permit the unnecessary operation of the engine of a motor vehicle while the vehicle is stopped for a foreseeable period of time in excess of five minutes, upon any way.
In partnership with the Sustainable Energy Committee and Sustainable Wellesley, I requested this new Traffic Regulation amendment as an alternative to officers giving out the $100 citation. This new traffic regulation gives Wellesley officers the option to issue a warning, a $15 ticket, or as mentioned a $100 citation when they encounter someone leaving their vehicle running for over 5 minutes.
In the days and months to come, increased enforcement of the anti-idling law by Wellesley police officers will take place. Look for Wellesley Police officers at the schools’ drop-off and pick-up lines, in front of frequently visited restaurants and businesses, and other locations in Town.
The goal is to educate and remind Wellesley citizens about the energy waste, harm to our environment and adverse health issues caused when individuals needlessly leave their vehicles running for a lengthy time.
Some facts to consider before you leave your car running:
- 2 minutes of idling uses as much fuel as traveling 1 mile
- There are over 40 hazardous air pollutants emitted from engine exhaust
- 10 seconds of idling wastes more fuel than restarting your engine
- Air pollution from idling vehicles has been linked to serious human illnesses including asthma, heart disease, chronic bronchitis, and cancer
- 3 pounds of pollution per month are generated by every vehicle dropping off and picking up kids at one school
- Leaving your engine running for more than 5 minutes is against the law
Please help us in this very important effort by complying with the law. Not idling is a choice, and choosing not to idle is better for your car, saves gasoline and helps reduce emissions that cause global warming. It is one of the simplest and most effortless things we can do to help our environment and our health, not to mention saving you money and a possible ticket.
Chief Jack Pilecki
Wellesley Police Department