Reducing Idling

Anti-Idling Ordinance

Idling TrucksMotor vehicles weighing over 14,000 pounds are prohibited from idling for more than five minutes within the City of Dallas, and several other areas throughout North Texas.  This ordinance is in effect all year.  The purpose of the anti-idling ordinance is to help improve air quality in Dallas and throughout the ten-county ozone standard non-attainment area, as transportation accounts for more than 70 percent of the air pollution that leads to the formation of ozone.

Read the Ordinance, and information on important updates, exemptions, and enforcement here.

If you see a vehicle over 14,000 pounds idling for over 5 minutes:

  • Dial 3-1-1 (within Dallas City limits) and report the vehicle’s license plate number to the operator.
  • If outside the Dallas city limits, call 1-877-NTX-IDLE.
  • You can also report idling vehicles online.

Reduce Idling at School

Smiling Children by School BusParents want what is best for their children, yet every day, hundreds of cars and buses idle needlessly while waiting for children after school.  No one wants their child standing near an idling tailpipe, exposing their little lungs to the damaging effects breathing pollutants, but every day it happens.  Shut off your vehicle while waiting for your student, and encourage your school to put up signs asking parents and bus drivers to shut off engines.

You can go a step further and ask your school administrator to order a FREE anti-idling sign from the City of Dallas.  If you are an administrator, simply click here and fill out the form.  If you have any questions about the anti-idling signs and how to order one, please contact Kevin Overton in the Office of Environmental Quality at 214-670-1200.

If you would like information on how to make your school idle free, visit EPA’s Idle Free Schools website.

Reduce Idling at Work

Trucks and vehicles loading and unloading materials or people often idle for convenience.  These emissions can move indoors to work spaces through ventilation systems and open passages, exposing workers to noxious emissions.  To help make your business a healthier place to work, you can order a FREE anti-idling sign from the City of Dallas.  If you are a business owner, simply click here and fill out the form.  If you have any questions about the anti-idling signs and how to order one, please contact Kevin Overton in the Office of Environmental Quality at 214-670-1200.

Why it doesn’t pay to idle

Doesn't Pay to IdleMany believe idling uses less fuel than shutting off and restarting an engine, but idling for ten seconds can use as much gas as restarting your engine.  Shut it off while waiting and save some money. Others believe that idling helps warm the engine to make things run better, including emissions controls.  Idling does not get the engine warm enough to do any good; driving heats the engine to get the emissions controls working. Additionally, excessive idling can reduce the engine life by building up carbon or combustion elements and damage exhaust systems by condensing water in your tailpipe, leading to corrosion and eventual repairs.

The EPA estimates that idling is responsible for:

  • Over one billion gallons of diesel fuel consumed annually in the U.S.
  • Over 11 million tons of carbon dioxide, 200 thousand tons of nitrogen oxides, and 5,000 tons of particulate matter emitted annually in the U.S.
  • Increased engine maintenance costs and a 20 percent decrease in engine life
  • Impaired driver health
Learn more about anti-idling technology here.

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