Environmental Quality - Idle Reduction Policy

Section E: Support Services

Regulation Title: Environmental Quality - Idle Reduction Policy
Regulation Code: EEC-R
Lead Department: Transportation Services

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TUSD will reduce idling of all vehicles at school sites, vehicles used to transport children for off-site activities, school buses and all vehicles used for District business by the following procedures. These procedures are intended to assist in keeping our bus drivers and school children healthy.

School Buses

  • Arriving at School
    • Turn off the engine within five (5) minutes and do not turn it on again until you are ready to depart.
    • If available, roof vents can remain open for ventilation.
    • Park the bus at least 100 feet from an active school air intake system, unless school district has determined that it will block traffic or impair student safety.
  • Loading Students
    • Wait until all students are loaded and door is securely shut prior to starting engine.
    • If lights are needed, activate them without running the engine.
  • Queued Buses
    When several buses are lined up waiting for students:
    • Lead bus should control movement of other buses at all times.
    • All drivers should wait until word is received that every bus is loaded and ready to leave before starting their engines.
  • Delays
    If a problem with a student, a breakdown, etc., occurs:
    • Buses should be free to maneuver around the delayed bus and leave the area when all the other buses are loaded and ready to depart.
    • Delayed bus should make sure windows and doors are closed while other buses depart to avoid fumes.
  • Special Equipment
    • Buses may idle if the engine is needed to run lift equipment during loading or unloading of children with special needs.
    • Buses may idle if bus headlights or four-way flasher warning lights are needed for visibility purposes.
  • Exceptions
    • Smaller, special needs buses that take less time to load are exempt from these recommendations and should be free to leave when the bus is loaded.
    • If justified by cold or heat, buses may idle for a minimum time to heat or cool the bus prior to loading, or if an emergency situation dictates.
  • Departing from School
    • Drivers are discouraged from "caravanning" behind other buses to avoid fumes from the leading bus entering the passenger compartment.
  • Bus Storage Yard
    • Drivers should not idle more than five (5) minutes.
    • On cold mornings when condensation has frosted windows, drivers may idle for a minimum period of time in the yard to defrost windows.
    • When parking the vehicle, engines should be turned off after a five (5) minute cool down.

District Sites
Ensure school buildings air intake systems are more than 100 feet away from school bus parking areas when practical. Where intake systems are not 100 feet away from school bus parking, reduce intake of school bus exhaust by regulating closure of intake vents or moving bus parking areas.

Weather Conditions

  • From April 1st to October 31st, if necessary and the vehicle has air conditioning equipment, the vehicle may idle for a minimum period of time to cool the vehicle prior to loading;
  • If justified by cold outside temperatures, the vehicle may idle for a minimum period of time to heat the vehicle prior to loading;
  • If drivers will be at a location for more than 15 minutes, a designated indoor waiting area is encouraged instead of staying in a hot or cold vehicle.


  • District Sites will post signs in all parking and vehicle standing areas.
  • All District vehicles will have a sign posted regarding vehicle idling.
  • Parents, guardians or other adults used to transport children for off-site activities will be given notice about vehicle idling.

Reviewed: June 24, 2005 - Friday Report