Question: I was dropping my children off at the TLC bus loop this morning. It was a beautiful fall day, sunny with little to no wind. There were four buses idling in the bus loop waiting to let the children off the buses. As we have all experienced periodically, the exhaust fumes from the buses was heavy due to the still air. I understand the five-minute idle policy, but the health and well-being of our children is first, and I, like most parents, want the safety of all children to be priority one. Diesel exhaust fumes cause headaches, nausea, cancer and other respiratory diseases. It was a gross display.
Answer: You are correct, Broadalbin-Perth has a five-minute idling policy for our buses, which is consistent with school district policies across the state. When buses pull into the loop, drivers are supposed to turn off their engines if they're going to be sitting there for longer than five minutes. If, on the morning you're describing, the buses were idling for more than five minutes, that's a problem. We recognize the seriousness of fumes and, in the future, will ensure that the district's policy is enforced.
- answered by Stephen Tomlinson, District Superintendent