August, 2008


TO:                      District Superintendents

                            Superintendents of Schools

                            Transportation Directors


FROM:                 Marion Edick, State Director Pupil Transportation Services


SUBJECT:          Idling School Buses on School Grounds



              Chapter 670 of the Laws of 2007 enacted section 3637 of Education Law.  It requires that all school districts ensure that every driver of a school bus or other school vehicle turn off the engine of the vehicle while waiting for passengers to load or off load.  The law requires the Commissioner of Education to promulgate regulations requiring school districts to minimize, to the extent practicable, the idling of school vehicles.  It provides for certain exceptions when necessary for heating, mechanical or emergency circumstances.  It also requires school districts to annually provide to school personnel a notice of the provisions of the law and regulations.  This memorandum will give an overview of the statute and regulations and the materials which have been developed for school districts to use as the annual notice to school employees.


General Provisions of Section 156.3 (h)


Exceptions – Limited idling may be permitted when it is necessary for the following reasons:


Requirements of School Bus Drivers


Additional School District Responsibilities


              To assist school districts with compliance, the State Education Department has prepared materials for the annual notice to school personnel and for training school bus drivers.   These materials have been posted on our website at:  School districts may meet the notice requirement by providing employees with a copy of Education Law section 3637 and Commissioner’s Regulations 156.3 (h).   As an alternative, districts may notify employees that the materials have been posted on all employee bulletin boards and the district website.   To assist with training school bus drivers, we have updated a PowerPoint presentation that was part of our 2004 Professional Development Seminar and school bus driver refresher training.  Other materials such as driver handouts, pledge cards and a reducing idling campaign logo are part of the 2004 School Bus Driver Refresher materials.


              We invite you to join the State Education Department in a statewide effort to reduce idling, save money, and protect the health of our children.