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Introduced by Representatives Hosford of Waitsfield, Botzow of Pownal, Brooks of Montpelier, Copeland-Hanzas of Bradford, Deen of Westminster, Grad of Moretown, Jewett of Ripton, Lorber of Burlington, Marek of Newfane, McCullough of Williston, McFaun of Barre Town, Randall of Troy, Sharpe of Bristol, Spengler of Colchester, Sweaney of Windsor and Weston of Burlington

Referred to Committee on


Subject:  Conservation; motor vehicles; idling

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to prohibit the operator of a school bus from idling the engine while waiting for children to board at a school.


It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:


The general assembly finds that:

(1)  There is general scientific agreement that human‑made emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases (GHGs)‚ primarily from the combustion of fossil fuels‚ are the major causes of global climate change.

(2)  One of the largest sources of GHG emissions is the transportation sector‚ due mainly to its dependence on fossil fuels such as gasoline and diesel fuel.  Burning these fuels produces carbon dioxide‚ the principal GHG‚ making the transportation sector the largest source of carbon dioxide emissions in Vermont.

(3)  Modern vehicle engines only require 30 seconds of idling in the winter to circulate oil through the engine.

(4)  Allowing a vehicle to idle for more than 30 seconds wastes fuel, does little to heat the engine, and contributes to global climate change by emitting GHGs into the atmosphere.

(5)  If every driver of a motor vehicle in Vermont avoided idling the motor vehicle for just five minutes a day‚ the state would save millions of gallons of fuel and would prevent thousands of tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere and contributing to climate change.

(6)  In order to reduce the impact of the state on global climate change, Vermont should implement policies to reduce or eliminate the idling of motor vehicles.

Sec. 2.  23 V.S.A. § 1282(f) is added to read:

(f)  The operator of a school bus shall not idle the engine while waiting for children to board the vehicle at a school and may start the engine only when leaving the school premises.  To provide for the safety of the schoolchildren and the school bus operator, the secretary of natural resources shall adopt a rule which grants exceptions to the provisions of this subsection during cold weather.

Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont