Idling is leaving a vehicle's engine running while the vehicle is not in motion, for example, waiting in a drive-thru line. Idling vehicles are harmful to the environment because they emit pollutants such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, and volatile organic compounds into the air. Harmful pollutants emitted from idling can cause respiratory problems, allergies, and other health issues. Children, elderly people, and those with pre-existing health conditions are especially vulnerable.
Did you know, idling cars use up to 1/2 gallon of fuel per hour. Idling costs consumers and businesses more than $20 billion each year.
How You Can Help
Turn off your engine while waiting in drive-thru lines, curbside pickup, school pickup, or when not in traffic during a stop longer than 10 seconds.
Carpool, walk, bike, or use public transportation.
Enable your vehicle's auto stop/start feature if the technology is available.
Reduce idling time to help improve air quality and community health. Below are resources for businesses and local governments to assist with developing idle-free plans.
Children are especially vulnerable to the health effects of air pollution from car exhaust, which can trigger asthma attacks, and cause respiratory problems and decreased lung function over time. Studies have shown that consistent exposure to polluted air can impact children's cognitive development. The Maricopa County Air Quality Department Education Outreach Unit has created a problem-based learning project to educate and empower schools to find solutions to reduce car idling at their school. For more information, visit Maricopa.gov/5965.
Electric Vehicle Charging Locator Map
The Maricopa County Air Quality Department developed the Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Locator Map as a resource for cities, towns, planning organizations, and the public. This map identifies where existing public EV charging stations are located, and where additional locations could be installed. For more information, visit our EV Charging Locator Map webpage..