Massachusetts has an anti-idling law that prohibits vehicles from idling (leaving the car engine running while parked) for longer than 5 minutes.   This applies to all vehicles including livery, taxis, and delivery vehicles though it is rarely enforced. Idling within 100 yards of a school is also prohibited. Police, Parking Enforcement, and the Air Pollution Control Commission (APCC) staff can write tickets for $100. 

Companies and buildings can help to enforce this policy by placing anti-idling signs and reporting violations to the Mayor’s hotline either via email at or phone at:  617-635-3850. For after-hours reporting call the Mayor’s Hotline at 311. Be prepared to supply the company name, truck number and/or license plate as well as the time of day and date the idling is occurring. Commercial and delivery vehicles are more likely to be diesel engines so enforcement should be targeted to these vehicles in loading areas. 

Why this matters

Idling not only wastes gas, and adds to wear and tear of an engine, it also emits pollutantsthat contribute to asthma, cancer, and global climate change. Diesel exhaust is especially harmful, emitting fine particles that can cling to lungs and cause lung cancer and premature death. Children and the elderly are most susceptible, but anyone already suffering from asthma or other respiratory problems is more prone to having health problems. Rates of childhood asthma are higher in the Northeast than the rest of the country.

For more information, go to the City’s website:


Sample signage:

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