STATE SENATOR THOMAS MCGEE may cochair the Transportation Committee, but he was just another mindless idler until some Lynn fifth-graders straightened him out. “I’d pull off the road to finish a phone call and leave the car running,” he says. “You just don’t think about it.” He wasn’t alone: Once you start looking for it, you notice engines idling away everywhere as drivers wait outside schools, check their appearance, or fiddle with their iPads. But it’s just a few minutes of waiting, and that’s no big deal, right?
Well, wrong. Even a minute of idling is bad for the environment. And if the tree hugger appeal doesn’t grab you, how about one for your wallet? An idling engine, after all, gets exactly zero miles per gallon. Oh, and let’s not forget that idling for more than five minutes in a parked car violates state law.