Idling in Your Car May Get You a Ticket

Village Board comes closer to an ordinance limiting occasions when motorists can sit in car with engine running.

Deerfield took a step closer to prohibiting excessive idling of motor vehicles Monday at its meeting when it asked the Sustainability Commission to further tweak possible legislation. 

The trustees heard a report from Sustainability Commission Chairman Matt Wylie and Jenny Maltas of the village staff suggesting a year of education before putting an ordinance in place. 

The proposal calls for an extensive education program for the community for a year. After that most people idling their vehicle for more than five minutes could receive a ticket. There would be exceptions for medical necessities, traffic jams, emergencies and either excessively high or low temperatures. 

felt education of citizens will have a positive effect. She has already seen improved behavior from some citizens waiting for people coming to their car for a ride. “At the high school people pull up as close as they can and turn their car off,” Rosenthal said. 

Some of the trustees were concerned about enforcement because of the number of exceptions like traffic jams and weather. Others expressed little patience for conditions they found intolerable. 

“Scholl buses from District 109 and the high school sit in parking lots for an hour and a half with the motor running,” Trustee said. “They are wasting precious resources and polluting the environment.” 

Oppenheim suggested talking to the schools. She wants them to control the buses.owns its buses while Deerfield School District 109 hires a bus service to transport its students. 

“They can control the contractors,” Trustee said of District 109 officials. He suggested the district take a firm stand to solve the problem. 

Like Oppenheim, Trustee , has little patience for the idling. He sees control of unnecessary vehicular emissions as a way for the Village to protect the environment and conserve energy. 

“This will improve fuel economy and get rid of some toxic chemicals,” Seiden said. “The biggest source of pollution in this area is traffic jams. This is the best way to clean up our air and use less fuel.” 

The Village Board tabled the matter at Rosenthal’s suggestion so the Sustainability Commission can put finishing touches on an education campaign and possible legislation. 

Osterman and York will be four-way stop 

In another matter, the Board voted to make the intersection of Robert York and Osterman Avenues a permanent four-way stop. 

Though a study by Gewalt Hamilton, a consulting firm specializing in traffic research, recommended there was insufficient activity to warrant the signs, a majority of board members felt it would make the area safer particularly for seniors living at One Deerfield Place. 

“People who live at One Deerfield Place are people we have heard from over the years who need to feel safe,” Rosenthal said. “This corner is an exception,” she added explaining why an exception to the study was appropriate.

Beth Jarockl November 09, 2011 at 08:38 PM
Why would we recommend a law to change this behavior, rather than influence change through education and a communication plan?
RB November 09, 2011 at 09:16 PM
Not another law, please!
Mark Brottman November 09, 2011 at 09:26 PM
It's a law that can not be enforced. Are the police seriously going to wait and watch to see if you have been there for 5 minutes? No. Does it affect public safety? No! I agree with the hands-free cell phone but this one is just a waste.
Mara Meyer November 09, 2011 at 11:36 PM
Not only is this ridiculous and a waste of time so is the idea of a permanent four way stop sign on the corner of Osterman and York roads. Does the village understand the dangerous problem of people stopping and blocking the road when a train is about to pass? Can't wait to leave!
RB November 10, 2011 at 12:35 AM
I think that intersection had a temporary stop sign during the wonderful winter-summer reroute of Deerfield for the $multi million dollar tunnel enlargement. I don't recall any increase in train car issue due to the signs. It is something that should be considered. I think we may have a board getting legislation happy. They are finding things to create new laws to govern us. The police department either has too many cops and thus excess capacity to absorb all the new work, or they will need to add cops. I have noticed Village trucks at idle while empty. That would be a place to start cutting back on idling. Bannockburn's sign at the Elementary school seems to work. They merely request parents not to idle. No new law required. Deerfield board please stop finding things to legislate about. Deerfield is a great community with plenty of laws and ordinances on the books.
Mara Meyer November 10, 2011 at 01:42 AM
Hear! Hear! RB! Agree with you completely. Sources of revenue can come from other places.
Daniel Krudop November 10, 2011 at 12:45 PM
I was at that meeting to make a public comment that was accidentally related to the idling agenda item. I recently had the unique opportunity to drop my grandson off at Wilmot morning Kindergarten over a four day period when my Son and Daughter-in-Law went out of town. If the town needs additional revenue, they could send the police to the intersection of Wilmot and Deerfield Roads at about 8:30 AM and write tickets to hundreds of cars for idling more than five minutes. If there were ever an accident at that intersection with injuries, I wouldn't be surprised if it took several hours to get traffic moving again. I know Deerfield Road is not a State Highway but I think you could take an awful lot of idling cars from that intersection if Wimot families North of Deerfield Rd could get bus service. There is probably more pollution created during an half hour each school day morning at that intersection than in all of the rest of Deerfield by idling cars for a week.
KT November 10, 2011 at 01:06 PM
I am so tired of the Village trying to monitor our behavior for their monetary gain. Our personal freedoms are at risk. All the sources of revenue that they create are negative. Change is created through positive communication and action, not by punishing us for waiting for our children to get in the car. How many of us in the winter start our car early to warm it up before we leave, will we be policed around leaving our autos running in our own driveways? Enough is enough.
Daniel Krudop November 10, 2011 at 01:20 PM
It makes one wonder. Do squad cars have to leave their engines running when the mars lights are on? If it takes more than five minutes to write a ticket for an idling motorist, would the Police Officer be in violation of the ordinance? I've seen Deerfield squad cars parked next to each other in Maplewood Park with their engines running while talking to each other through open windows.
steve shay November 10, 2011 at 02:23 PM
I would urge the "Sustainability Commission" to do more research as it will learn that the two major sources of automobile pollution come from tires, and from washing your car, as the tread and toxic solvents enter the sewer system and eventually our ground water, lakes and rivers. The idling law would have no effect on these two sources.
NB November 10, 2011 at 03:11 PM
The suggestion for the legislation is that they have one year of education before they put the law into place. That is probably the real goal here. If they're smart, (key word, I guess), they will start with their own public works dept. as well as getting the schools to work on it too. I've seen signs saying don't idle and personally, once gas got over $3 per gallon, I started turning the car off.
v leary November 10, 2011 at 08:23 PM
want to save gas lower speed limit back to 55 or 60 on major Hwys in US!
aloha5 November 11, 2011 at 04:44 AM
District 109 and Olsen Bus Co. definitely need to do something about those idling buses! They sit for many many hours with their engines running at Maplewood Park....polluting the air for those at the playground and the surrounding homes where they situate their running motors right along the sides of the homes....along with the noise pollution they create!!! Why can't they just park the buses and not let them run forever!!!!
Daniel Krudop November 11, 2011 at 12:34 PM
I live down the block from Maplewood Park and several years ago, when the price of gasoline and diesel fuel first spiked to $4.00 a gallon, I contacted Olsen Bus and told them about those idling buses. I gave them the bus numbers and told them that if I heard any rumors that they were going to request a modification of their contract to account for increased fuel costs, I would be there to report how much fuel they wasted. Coincidentally, around the same time, I contacted the Deerfield Police Department about the same issue when I would regularly see squad cars parked over there with their engines idling.
NB November 11, 2011 at 03:52 PM
Well the buses and the police cars are still there and I would imagine that they and village owned equipment will be exempt from this. I don't have a problem with police cars being exempted, but for a change, it would be nice to see village equipment and the buses be more responsible.
Bringin' Down Briarwood November 14, 2011 at 08:58 PM
Really?!?!? Really?!?!? The village board is really wasting its/our time on this? Want to improve air quality and reduce emissions? Start developing a village plan that doesn't require a car everywhere you go? Hmmmm, sidewalks? There's a new idea. Bike paths? Oh, that's crazy. Storefronts with a group of shops that attract shoppers for more than ten minutes? Com' on!! How about a little creativity, gang?!?
Mara Meyer November 14, 2011 at 09:37 PM
There is very little creativity in this Board. The stop sign issue can easily be handled through a demand stop signal like on Deerfield Road. I guess the rest of us have to call the Trustees to complain about the other side of the issue - INCONVENIENCE!


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something