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No idlers allowed; Schools remind all drivers.

COLUMN: IN OUR OPINION

When the new school year starts, administrators make sure everyone knows their "no's." No bullying, no vandalism, no unexcused absences, no gum chewing ... you know the drill.

But there's one "no" that, despite being on the state's books for years, is far less familiar: No idling.

In Massachusetts, all vehicles, at school or not, are normally prohibited from idling for over five minutes. Many schools are stepping up efforts to remind, or tell, parents and bus drivers about the law.

At some schools, cars in a long queue wait outside the building, many of them idling. That can bring a layer of exhaust that's noticeable to the nose, needlessly pollutes the air and poses a potential health hazard to young lungs. Turning the car off while waiting to make the pickup is also safer, considering that students just sprung from classes aren't known for watching where they're going.

How a parent is supposed to while away those long, idle minutes when they aren't idling is up to them, of course. They can daydream, doodle, gossip, snooze, study the sky - sort of like we all did as kids at times when the clock wouldn't move and the bell wouldn't ring.

When the kid finally shows up, they can end the daily dallying with the time-tested question: "How was school?" The student might go into overdrive answering it, or might shrug it off. Either way, one thing's for sure: The kid wasn't idle. That's not permitted inside school, either.
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Title Annotation:EDITORIAL
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Article Type:Editorial
Date:Sep 8, 2010
Words:251
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