Motorists traveling through Newark will notice new signs banning vehicles from sitting idle with the engine running.

The city has put an anti-idling campaign in place to reduce its carbon footprint and improve air quality.

“In 2009, under the recommendation from the Conservation Advisory Commission, the city of Newark passed an ordinance to restrict idling of motor vehicles within city limits including personal vehicles, and commercial trucks and buses,” said Thomas Fruehstorfer, chair of the Newark Conservation Advisory Commission.

Last year, the city received a $15,000 grant from Delaware’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Projects fund through DNREC to develop the anti-idling campaign and raise awareness.

Newark is putting the funds to use by erecting 300 no-idling signs within the city limits. They have also released public service announcements and flyers.

DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara was at Newark High School where the first sign was put in place and said Newark is leading the state by example.

“There are several municipalities who have ordinances for idling of larger trucks and things like that, but Newark is the first to cover all vehicles and really try to help everyone save money and clean up the air at the same time,” said O’Mara.

Fruehstorfer added that if a quarter of Newark drivers follow the ban, it could reduce carbon emissions by 1.7 to 2.6 million pounds year.

“It’s not a difficult ordinance to follow,” said Newark Mayor Vance Funk. “The people who violate, they’re destroying our carbon footprint.”

The ordinance prohibits vehicles from idling more than five minutes during an hour-long period. Emergency vehicles and vehicles with elderly or infant occupants are excluded. There are also exceptions for when the temperature falls below minus ten degrees.  

First offenders will get a warning; additional offences carry a $100 fine.