Green Minds LFLB Position on idling 

“Idling vehicles contribute to air pollution and emit air toxins, which are pollutants known and/or suspected to cause cancer or other serious health effects.  Monitoring at schools has shown elevated levels of benzene, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde and other air toxins during the afternoon hour coinciding with parents picking up their children.  Children’s lungs are still developing, and when they are exposed to elevated levels of these pollutants, children have an increased risk of developing asthma, respiratory problems and other adverse health effects.  Limiting a vehicle’s idling time can dramatically reduce these pollutants and the exposure to them. “ (EPA -

Green Minds LFLB is asking our schools to limit all unnecessary idling by passenger vehicles, school buses and delivery trucks.

Clear signage at all schools, public parking areas, clubs, and other areas children and young people frequent.

Send a reminder quarterly in the schools newsletter asking drivers to shut off all engines while waiting to pick up students.

All drivers to turn off engines when they arrive at school, if they expect to be parked for more than 1 minute (EPA recommends 10 seconds).

Initiate requirements for school buses to turn off engines while waiting on school property or on route (IL 625 il. Comp. Stat § 5/11-1429 prohibits idling for more than 10 minutes in a 60-minute period. Green Minds LFLB simply asks that the law made to protect the citizens is enforced).

Area Schools with no idling signs and/or no idling policies:

Lake Forest Country Day school

Lake Bluff Elementary School

Lake Forest School Districts 67 and 115

Arlington Heights (the entire community is an idle-free zone)

Park Ridge-Niles School District 64 idle free since 2008

Manteno School District

Joseph Sears School, Kenilworth District 38 – 'Think of the environment, Turn your Engine off' signs and two newsletter reminders every year to parents.

Prairie Crossing Charter School

Oak Park (the entire community is an idle-free zone)

Chicago passed an ordinance that requires diesel vehicles to stop idling after 3 minutes

CPS contracts with bus operators have a condition in the contract regarding no idling and number behind buses gives a fine to operators if they are seen idling

Coonley School (CPS) – signs stating “NO IDLING. Young lungs at work”

Niles – City ordinance against idling with $50 fine.

….. & many others


Healthier air for students and staff

Saving school district money when school buses also banned from idling as our school districts pays the fuel

Safer for students to pass in pick up area, as studies show that kids are more likely to overlook a moving vehicle if cars are idling around them

Less noise pollution in the community

Sources (Anti idling law in Chicago – limiting idling to 3 mintues per 60-minute period)


  • In December 2015 Green Minds LFLB sent a request  Lake Forest School Districts 67, Lake Bluff School District 65, and School District 115 to put our kids‘ health first and initiate idle free policies by installing clear signage, asking visitors and parents not to idle their cars on school properties. District 67 agreed to initiate a no idling campaign in Spring 2016
  • Forest Bluff Montessori School sent out reminders to parents telling them to turn off their engine, after they received our No Idling suggestions.
  • ​In May 2016 City of Lake Forest published a no idling policy for the City of Lake Forest operated vehicles
  • Green Minds LFLB continues receiving letters asking us to work on no idling policies in our community. We have addressed the issues with the City of Lake Forest and Village of Lake Bluff, and the City of Lake Forest is as of November 2017 working on implementing idle free zones in our community.
  • In November 2017 the City of Lake Forest sent out a reminder to its residents to turn off their engines via the Dialogue. Green Minds LFLB thanks the City of Lake Forest for listening and help working towards cleaner air in our community.

Illinois Laws on Idling

Share the 'No Idling' message!

No Idling Toolkit

In Fall of 2016 Lake Forest D67 and D115 welcomed no idling signs at our schools. Thank you Mr. Barry Rogers, former assistant superintendent, for making this happen.

We've created a social media toolkit to help build awareness for our 'Idling is fuelish' campaign. Help spread the word!

Call Us: +1.8472352305

​If you would like to volunteer working on reducing idling in Lake Forest or Lake Bluff please email

State Code

Illinois Compiled Statutes § 625 ILCS 5/11-1401. Unattended motor vehicles Sec. 11-1401. Unattended motor vehicles. No person driving or in charge of a motor vehicle shall permit it to stand unattended without first stopping the engine, locking the ignition, removing the key from the ignition, effectively setting the brake thereon and, when standing upon any perceptible grade, turning the front wheels to the curb or side of the highway. 

Cities: Aux Sable, Goose Lake, Oswego

Counties: Cook, DuPage, Lake, Kane, McHenry, Will, Madison, St. Claire, Monroe

Maximum Idling Time - 10 minutes within any 60 minute period (30 minutes within any 60 minute period: Waiting to weigh, load or unload freight; No limit: Less than 32° F or greater than 80° F)
Fines: $50 – 1st conviction; $150 – 2nd & subsequent convictions in 12 month period Exemptions 
• Less than 8,000 lbs. GVWR
• Traffic conditions/controls
• Prevent a safety or health emergency 
• Emergency or law enforcement purposes
• Service or repair
• Government inspection
• Power takeoffs involving cargo or work functions
• Resting in a sleeper berth
• Mechanical difficulties
• Queuing
625 Illinois Combined Statute 5/111429. 
Illinois Department of Transportation (217) 782-7820,

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