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Air District Reminds Parents To Avoid Idling

With students back to school, the increased vehicle traffic can lead to an uptick in ground-level ozone. Limiting vehicle idling at schools will help to reduce air pollution and student exposure to vehicle emissions. The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District urges Valley residents to reduce their contribution to local emissions by minimizing their driving, opting for vehicles with low or zero emissions, maintaining their cars optimally, and refraining from using drive-through services.

Parents can also help protect their students and public health by incorporating a number of actions.

Turning off your engine at school – When you are stopping to drop the kids off in the morning and waiting to pick them up at the end of the school day, please do not idle.

Coordinate a carpool or rideshare to get kids to and from school.

Driving less – Look for ways to leave your gasoline vehicle home more often by linking your trips.

Walking your children to school.

Driving zero-emission or low-emission vehicles – The District offers a cash rebate; learn more at to go electric.

Avoiding the use of drive-through services – Turn off your engine and go inside for food, coffee and other services instead of idling in the drive-through.

Valley air quality has shown tremendous improvement over the past several summers. The progress can be attributed to the District’s many control strategies, robust incentive programs, and a commitment by Valley businesses, residents, and stakeholders to reduce emissions whenever possible.

“Thanks to the vigilance and cooperation of residents and businesses throughout the Valley, we continue to see improvements in air quality every summer,” said Samir Sheikh, the District’s Air Pollution Control Officer and Executive Director. “We urge the public to be even more mindful of their impact on air quality during this critical Back-to-School window.”

To maintain ongoing advancements and reduce pollution from idling vehicles at school sites, the District has collaborated with numerous schools in the Valley through the Healthy Air Living Schools initiative. This program offers free signage and other tools to prompt parents to refrain from idling their vehicles while picking up or dropping off students.

Valley residents can follow current, localized air quality by visiting or downloading the free Valley Air app.

For more information, call the District office in Modesto at 209-557-6400.