First of its kind policy to reduce school bus idling

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First of its kind policy to reduce school bus idling

October 20, 2005

FREDERICTON(CNB):   New policy requirements designed to reduce school bus idling were released today by Education Minister Madeleine Dube.

The main objective of the policy, the first of its kind in Canada, is to eliminate unnecessary idling for school buses and reduce student exposure to harmful air pollutants at and near schools.

"Ensuring healthy, safe and secure learning and working environments is an essential component of our Quality Learning Agenda," said Dube.  "Reducing idling times at schools will protect our students from air contaminants as well as improve air quality in the surrounding area."   

According to the policy a driver must avoid idling the school bus.  This includes during drop-off and boarding times at school, when the bus is awaiting student dismissal and when parked.  School buses may only idle during extreme weather conditions. 

The policy also recommends school districts and schools encourage a non-idling practice for every motor vehicle on school property, including private vehicles. 

Development of the new policy was done in cooperation with the New Brunswick Lung Association. 

"The New Brunswick Lung Association has been a leader in promoting activities to create a safe and healthy environment," noted the minister.  "We were pleased to work with the Lung Association to establish this policy." 

Some New Brunswick school districts and schools have already implemented bus idling policies and participated in successful pilot projects with the New Brunswick Lung Association. 

"The Lung Association would like to congratulate the Department of Education for their forward thinking and collaborative approach to this important environmental health issue," says Kenneth Maybee, President and CEO, New Brunswick Lung Association.  "It is important to note that vehicle emissions are one of the number one causes of outdoor air pollution."


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