Autauga Co. schools "no idling" effort

PRATTVILLE, AL (WSFA) - The Alabama Department of Environmental Management, the state's departments of public health and education are urging schools and parents to incorporate a "No Idling Campaign." That means turning off your engines while waiting in line to pick up your child from school. Autauga county school district launched a successful effort.

Jack Wall arrives at Daniel Pratt Elementary at 1:00p.m. sharp every afternoon to pick up his granddaughter.

"Normally I'm the first one here," Wall said.

That's two hours before school ends as he's trying to stay ahead of the crowd. And while he's waiting, Grandpa Jack is reading the bible with the engine shut off.

"I have to follow that sign right there," Wall said.

And that sign is clear: "Young lungs need clear air. No idling zone, turn off your engine," an initiative the state health and education departments developed to reduce school kids' exposure to pollutants that are contained in the exhaust of automobiles.

The line is wrapped all the way around Daniel Pratt Elementary and here about 500 students are dropped off and picked up daily. Some parents did not turn off their engine, but most do comply with the no idle campaign.

Autauga County schools superintendent Greg Faulkner says the buses were the first to kick off this no idle campaign last year, In all 13 schools, and now parents are being asked to help keep emissions down.

"We just appreciate all the parents participating and trying to make an effort to do this and we know that there are some days where it will probably feel like it's impossible," Faulkner said.

And especially on those hot and humid days. But Grandpa Jack says it's well worth the wait and sacrifice to keep his grand baby and other children healthy.

District wide, according to the superintendent about 3,000 students are picked up from school by car.

Copyright 2011 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.