Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district wants to cut down on school buses idling while dropping off and picking up students.
Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools has formalized regulations on how long SD68 vehicles can have engines running while on school property. At the school district’s June 14 business committee meeting, a new administrative procedure was detailed on idling for buses and other district-owned vehicles.
According to the document, School District 68 gas vehicles will be permitted to idle for no longer than one minute. Diesel vehicles will also be able to idle for only a minute on school property, but up to five minutes elsewhere.
There will be exemptions for vehicles engaged in emergencies, stuck in traffic or due to weather, with windows defogging or defrosting, with passengers exiting, or being repaired. Rules also don’t apply to electric vehicles.
Greg Keller, school board chairperson, asked why the procedure doesn’t apply to all vehicles on school sites.
“Yes, it’s going to be difficult to enforce [and] I wouldn’t expect staff to be out there telling people to turn their vehicles off,” he said. “But things like signage or communication are things that are easy to do … if we don’t already have some signage, why could that not be considered in the future?”
Mark Walsh, secretary-treasurer, said there is nothing in the procedure preventing signage and suggested the idea could be something for the environmental stewardship committee to discuss.
The school district already had a recommendation in place for staff to avoid idling in their vehicles, but the new procedure provides firm guidelines, a report noted.
The district’s environmental sustainability action plan seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50 per cent of 2010 levels by 2030.