SPRINGFIELD, MO – Greene County employees will try to save fuel and lower vehicle air pollution under a new idling-reduction policy recently approved by commissioners, according to the News-Leader.

The policy applies to all 334 county-owned vehicles and is intended to cut the amount of time a vehicle sits with its engine running.

County employees are required to turn off vehicle engines under the policy's two key provisions:

  • Large vehicles, primarily large trucks, cannot sit idle for more than 30 minutes in a 60-minute period while waiting at a loading or unloading site.
  • County vehicles cannot idle longer than five minutes in a 60-minute period.

Exceptions to the policy include idling to run heaters and defrosters during extreme temperature and weather conditions, while traffic is stopped at the direction of a law enforcement official, and emergency vehicles -- such as sheriff or emergency management cars -- used in an emergency capacity, though "not for the convenience of the vehicle operator."

County employees will be required to obey the new policy, which officials consider a common-sense approach for the county to save money, especially at a time when the county faces declining revenue. The county plans to track how much money the new policy saves over time, reported the Leader.