Arlington Heights launched its campaign aimed at convincing drivers to avoid idling their cars launched Wednesday when public works employees installed signs Wednesday encouraging motorists to "Breathe Easy" at Westgate Elementary School, 500 S. Dwyer Ave.
Similar signs will be placed throughout the village as part of the Idle Free Arlington educational and awareness campaign.
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"Having the first Idle Free Zone signs installed at a school is a perfect kickoff to a program that will benefit us all," Village President Arlene Mulder said. "Children are the perfect motivators and we hope they will help spread the message of the benefits of idling less."
Arlington Heights Elementary District 25 Superintendent Sarah Jerome pointed out the campaign will help create "a cleaner environment for our students to breathe easier."
Other agencies that have signed on to the program include the Arlington Heights Park District and the Arlington Heights Memorial Library; Prospect Heights Elementary District 23; Wheeling Township Elementary District 21's Poe Elementary School; and Northwest Suburban High School District 214.
Signs will go on property where idling is likely to occur, such as at schools where parents wait to pick up children at the end of the day.
Village officials also plan to place the signs at village hall, public works facilities and Metra stations. The village will encourage employees to idle less when using village vehicles.
"Idle Free Arlington" also is the theme of the village's 2013 vehicle stickers.
Even reducing idling by 10 seconds while waiting to pick someone up, cross train tracks or use a drive-through can make a difference, according to materials issued by the village.
The village board approved the campaign in February, and the 160 signs are going up according to the availability of public works employees, said Nancy Kluz, community relations coordinator.
Elk Grove Village has a similar anti-idling campaign, with information on the Environmental Health section of the village's website, elkgrove.org
More information is available on the Arlington Heights website, vah.com.