In a radical effort to cut down on carbon emissions, a New York City Council bill could pay citizens thousands of dollars to videotape vehicles idling illegally.
A bill proposed by Councilmen Donavan Richards and Helen Rosenthal would allow people to submit video evidence of idling to the city and pocket up to half the fine imposed.
First-time offenders would continue receiving warnings. But the bill raises the fines for second violations to a minimum of $350 from $220 and a maximum of $1,500 from $1,000.
Rosenthal said that environmentally-minded residents have long complained about double-decker busses idling outside popular tourist attractions and truck drivers leaving engines running while they make deliveries.
“Communities have been trying to work on this issue for so many years,” Rosenthal said. “We are fed up.”
It is illegal to leave the engines running idle for three minutes, and one minute in school zones.
The Natural Resources Defense Council says idling engines burn more than 10 billion gallons of gasoline per year nationwide.