Idle Chatter

Alert “06880” reader Jarret Liotta spotted this sign in front of Fairfield Ludlowe High School:

No Idling

He’d like to see similar signs in Westport.


“All over,” Jarret says. “Especially in front of the Y, where parents idle their cars for 15, 20 minutes and more, waiting for their kids.” He’s spoken with 2 officials about it. They say they often try to get people to stop idling, to no avail.

Jarret thinks a state law prohibits idling for more than 5 minutes. In fact, it’s 3 minutes  — as the small print on this sign in front of Staples High School notes:

Idling 2

The car parked in the fire zone is another matter entirely.

34 responses to “Idle Chatter

  1. Adam Schwartz 75'

    Good thing I don’t live in Fairfield County. My car won’t idle anymore…

  2. We need more state laws. They solve every problem. Look at how well the no littering laws work.

  3. Another Citizen

    As a school employee I can tell you that the school buses idling in the bus loop is unbearable. If the building windows are open you feel like your right behind the bus. If you have the unlucky job of getting kids on or off the bus you probably should wear a gas mask. Why can’t they just turn the bus off. It can’t be that hard to start it again when they are ready to go?

    • This should not be happening and the Dattco bus drivers know this! Your principal needs to be made aware, and — though it’s probably a waste of your time — contact Sandra Evangelista, the transportation coordinator — and let her know as well … If she is doing her job, this should NEVER be happening in front of the schools …

    • Westporter since 1970

      Diesel exhaust CAUSES asthma.

  4. We have similar signs at the schools here in Weston. No indication of it being a state law, but more a common courtesy and environmental issue. I believe it was a child that suggested it for the schools.

  5. Matthew Mandell

    Thanks for bringing up the busses idling. I am sure they must follow the state law. I will send a note to Mr. Landon and inquire. The busses should sit without their engines on. I do know in the depth of winter it might be hard to start them back up, but that’s only a few weeks and may not be the case.

    A while back it was policy for police and ambulance units to sit and idle so that they were always ready to go and not risk a non start up. That was changed. Those vehicles now shut down while sitting.

    • Just want to point out that in some cases, ambulances and other EMS vehicles (possibly fire and police, too, although I’m not sure) must be left running due to the nature of the radio/dispatch system; certain frequencies do not work without the truck running.

      Also, ambulances are left running at almost all scenes for a variety of reasons (such as lights, heat/aircon, radios).

    • Westporter since 1970

      Is the state law on school bus idling. Note the $500 fine.

  6. No More Signs! They litter the town and do no good because they are not enforced.

  7. While the sign is not as captivating as the one pictured on this blog — Greens Farms Elementary does in fact have posted signs in their parking lot not to leave the cars idling. Also mentions something about state law, etc.

  8. Yes. Let’s get the government more involved, because that seems to always work. The government is such a well-oiled machine and robust operation. They can solve anything.

    How about instead of jumping to more signs and stricter enforcement, we just try to do it on the ground level. Grassroots community awareness, better education of this, etc.

    • I agree … I think Staples students could make an enormous difference in changing things — the Green Club, for instance, could make this an awareness campaign …

  9. …mindless, selfish, environmentally unaware, people with more money than brains just love to sit there engine running, ac on, windows open………..because “I can”. Police cars are among the biggest offenders, and you are paying $4.00 a gallon for this offense. Enforce the law.

    • You’re an absolutely dimwitted numbskull. Leave Westport if you hate it so much. You seem like a miserable human being.

      • Woog's Willy

        DLK, at least skate wings called out the cops. That’s a good start. Let’s be fair here.

      • DLK: Stop using this blog as your personal dart board, please. Your judgemental attitude is no more limited or better than the ideas expressed. Stop being a bully.

      • DLK, I don’t know you from Adam, but, umm, it looks like you just described yourself.

      • Jason Leif Waggner

        Considering that during one Staples football game, a police car sat idling for the whole game in order to keep the police canine cool enough to keep its strength in case “there was a riot at the game,” I think “skate wings” has a very good point. Leave your ego at the door, DLK.

  10. American Idol

    Was at a soccer game at Coleytown front field where one set of parents watched the 90 minute game from the warmth of their car while the engine idled away for the entire game. I was about to say something but then I realized there is no law against it.

  11. I’m probably wrong but I’m guessing people who leave their cars idling think that if they turn off their engine, they will be “parking” which is clearly not allowed in most of the places referenced. If they leave the engine running, they are merely “waiting to pick someone up” ready to move if an emergency vehicle comes along. In that context, it would come down to which law you prefer people breaking.

    If the alternative is that they neither park nor idle, you probably end up with folks “circling the block” which is probably more polluting not to mention adding to traffic where there are probably a lot of kids walking around.

  12. Similar “No Idling” sign up at Bedford Middle School where some odd 150 cars pick up their children every day despite the great number of buses. Need revenue? Start charging cars. Fat kids? Let them walk home. I agree with the aforementioned comments regarding TOO MANY SIGNS. Stop trying to micromanage a town. The far greater number of STOP SIGNS has certainly no “stopped” anything including accidents.

    • So, now you’re crucifying the parents because they prefer to pick up their children from school? How do you know all of the circumstances surrounding this? How do you know how many parents do this (exact number please) and do you even know all of the reasons? Do you think it’s possible that you’re just talking out of your butt because you assume you are right and have a closed mind?

      • Why pay taxes for buses if you are not going to use them. The intersection guard estimates 150 to 200 on a rainy day of cars picking up children after Middle School. It is plain to many that most buses are hardly half full. Not only wasted tax monies but pollution. Have you ever thought you don’t notice these things because your head is up your ass???

  13. This is a problem at the train station too. The busses idling adjacent to the platform have many, myself included, coughing.

    • The train station buses idle by the platform over hang (by the elevators). They wait a while. A train comes in. One or two people get on the bus and they drive away. It seems like a pretty inefficient system.

  14. Adam Schwartz 75'

    The Socialist Republic of Westport, CT is alive and well…….

  15. The socialist liberals abound here!!! Pretty freakin scary at times!

  16. “Sign, sign, everywhere a sign…..Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the Sign”

  17. some of you are wack