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Readers minds on the move about idling
Dear Street Smarts, Q: Thanks for the information in (Monday's) column regarding it taking less fuel to shut off and start an engine than is consumed in 10 seconds of idling. I thought the break even point was longer than that and will keep that fact in mind, especially in fast food drive through lines where in the past I've only shut my engine off for such a brief period at the pickup window for the sake of the server. Steve Bankhead, Watsonville A: Thank you and I'm sure drive-through restaurant workers will thank you. Q: Are you aware that in Zurich, Switzerland, motorists are required to turn off the ignition at red lights? Before the light turns green, the amber light comes on as a warning to restart the motor. Rosalie Taylor, via email A: I did a little research online and many states across our own country have taken steps to curb idling-related air pollution. Vermont's http://www.idlefreevt.org/idling-laws.html provides information about that state's attempts to clean the air, while also listing other states in the union that have some form of anti-idling rules. Meanwhile, also check out our nation's capitol, http://ddoe.dc.gov/service/engine-anti-idling-law, which limits idling to three minutes while vehicles are stopped, parked or standing. The fine for violators is $1,000. Of course, some vehicles are exempt, such as cement mixers and refrigeration trucks. Here are the Golden State's rules on idling, which only apply to diesel engines in vehicles weighing 10,000 pounds or more, www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/truck-idling/factsheet.pdf. What say you, should California get more strict on all idling?