The Wellesley Board of Selectmen on Monday approved an amendment to the town’s traffic regulations to include an anti-idling violation that would mirror a state rule but result in a $15 ticket rather than a $100 fine. This would in theory make it more palatable for cops to ticket idlers (or initially, give a warning) in a way that is more educational than punitive.
“That’s not to say if somebody deserves the $100 ticket they won’t get it,” Wellesley Police Chief Jack Pilecki told the Board of Selectmen.
The proposal was brought forth in July by Pilecki and a couple of the town’s sustainability movers and shakers.
The town will launch an educational campaign before the new ticketing would go info effect. Anti-idling warnings will be printed out, similar to those given for all-night parking violations.
There might be some exceptions to the rules, such as vehicles that need to keep their engines running (possibly refrigerated grocery trucks).
Wellesley has been discouraging people from idling their vehicles in town for years now, whether it’s at schools, supermarket parking lots or the Recycling & Disposal Facility. Signs warning against idling have been installed at the schools, where cars waited in long lines pre-COVID-19. Students giving out flowers and flyers have pleaded with those in line at the middle school to stop idling in the name of human and environmental health. The Natural Resources Commission has installed signs near its properties to ward off idling, as it emphasizes that vehicle exhaust has been linked to increases in allergies, asthma, cancer and other conditions among children.
You can catch the brief discussion about this new rule at about the 1-hour, 20-minute mark of the Wellesley Media recording of the Board of Selectmen meeting.