BOISE, IDAHO - Police officers and other city staffers are working to reduce the amount of time their cars idle to save gas and curb pollution, according to www.idahostatesman.com.
The policy was informally adopted by Mayor Dave Bieter and his executive management team in recent months, spokesman Adam Park said Thursday. The anti-idling policy is set for final approval and adoption into the city's employee handbook, Park said.
The city has a fleet of about 1,100 vehicles, Fleet Services Manager Craig Croner has said. Croner worked with a city fleet advisory committee to craft the anti-idling policy.
"It's a recommendation," said Lynn Hightower, spokeswoman for Boise police. "First and foremost, there are officer safety needs."
Often, Hightower said, computers and other equipment outfitted in police cars take a beating in the heat. And there are some situations when officers must leave a car idling if they might have to take off quickly.
"Some officers have said it will take 15 or 20 minutes in cars for their computers to turn back on again," Hightower said. "Officers have been asked to be very prudent with gas savings, with their fuel use. If at all possible, turn off the vehicles."
According to the city's proposed anti-idling policy, studies have shown it is more fuel-efficient to turn vehicles off and then restart than to leave them idling.
The policy lays out certain conditions where idling is allowed, including in inclement weather and police vehicles doing traffic enforcement.
The city has also created a fuel contingency fund, sold about 50 older, unneeded or gas-guzzling cars, and purchased a new fleet tracking system to monitor fuel consumption and mileage.