Exhaust from idling motor vehicles can accumulate in and around the
buses and pose a health risk to children, staff, drivers, and the
community. Exposure to exhaust exacerbates asthma and existing
allergies, and it can cause lung damage and respiratory problems.
Long-term exposure is thought to increase the risk of lung cancer.
Idling vehicles also waste fuel and financial resources. The goal of
the Massachusetts Anti-Idling Laws (MGL 90:16A and 16B) is to improve
air quality by reducing unnecessary air pollution from idling vehicles.
The Amherst Elementary, Pelham Elementary, and Amherst-Pelham
Regional School Districts will comply with MGL90:16A which prohibits
motor vehicles in Massachusetts from idling for more than five minutes
and with MGL 90:16B which specifically regulates the idling of motor
vehicle engines on school grounds and sets more restrictive limits on
idling in order to improve and protect air quality on school grounds.
This policy will apply to all motor vehicles – school buses, vans,
private vehicles, and delivery vehicles – on the school grounds of the
Amherst Elementary Schools, the Pelham Elementary School, and the
Amherst-Pelham Regional Schools.
Under MGL 90:16B and in this policy, the term “school grounds” means
in, on, or within 100 feet of the real property of the school whether or
not it is in session, and includes any athletic field or facility and
any playground used for school purposes or functions which are owned by a
municipality or school district, regardless of proximity to a school
building, as well as any parking lot associated with such school,
athletic field, facility or playground.
All school bus and school van drivers, whether the vehicles are owned
by the District or contracted vehicles, will obey the state law. This
policy applies to all bus/van use including daily route travel, field
trips, and transportation for other extracurricular reasons that require
a school bus/van.
Exceptions to this policy are granted when running the bus or van
engine is necessary because of extreme weather conditions, when
restricted idling would jeopardize student safety, or to maintain a safe
environment for students with special health needs.
The Superintendent or his/her designee will establish written
regulations to implement this policy. All bus and van drivers will
receive a copy of the District’s regulations, or equivalent educational
material, at the beginning of every school year.
All service delivery vehicles will turn off their engines while
making deliveries to a school unless delivering goods for which engine
assisted power is necessary.
All privately owned vehicles will turn off their engines while
waiting to drop off or pick up students. For activities requiring a
prolonged stay at a school, privately owned vehicles should be parked.
State regulations (540 CMR 27.04) allow a line of vehicles sequentially
discharging or picking up students to idle only during the time they are
actively discharging or picking up students.
There are situations when idling is unavoidable. Massachusetts
Registry of Motor Vehicle regulations (540 CMR 27.04) include three
specific exemptions: when an engine is being repaired and operating the
engine is necessary for the repair; when a vehicle is making deliveries
and associated power is necessary; and when the engine is used to
provide power to another device.
Signage and Notification:
The District will post signs, with the wording required by 540 CMR
27.05, in conspicuous locations on all school grounds visible from at
least 50 feet away to inform drivers that idling is prohibited. A
summary of this policy will be included in the School Handbooks.
MGL 90:16A , 90:16B
310 CMR 7.11 (1) (b), 540 CMR 27.00
Region Voted to Approve: 4/24/12
Amherst Voted to Approve:
Pelham Voted to Approve: