State Superintendent Dr. June Atkinson displays a heavy-duty metal sign that schools can post to remind parents and school bus drivers to turn off their engine while waiting on campus.

Idle Reduction Signs for Schools

Public and private schools may request "TURN OFF YOUR ENGINE" signs to post in school driveways or parking areas to reduce unnecessary idling. The North Carolina Division of Air Quality also has other information and materials available to schools interested in taking a more proactive approach to reduce harmful air pollution at their schools. The effort targets schools in Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) eligible counties but may be available to other NC counties. If you are interested in receiving idle reduction signs please contact

Local air awareness programs are located in the highlighted counties below. Programs offer free school projects, lessons, and other services to the community. Contact to get in touch with a local coordinator.

A Word from the Division of Air Quality, NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources:

The Division of Air Quality’s Air Awareness Program would like to present the following information for your consideration. Thank you for your interest in keeping your school environmental safe and healthy for everyone as well as instill environmental values in the next generation.

Many areas across the country are faced with air quality issues similar to those we experience in North Carolina. Research has shown beyond a doubt that poor air quality contributes to respiratory and cardiac illness as well as impacting the economy and quality of life for our citizens. The purpose of the idle reduction signage is to reduce pollution from idling buses and cars that negatively affects children’s healthy lung growth and development. Children are more vulnerable to the impacts of vehicle pollution than other populations.

Most of our air quality problems in North Carolina are mobile source related. Vehicle emissions are the number one source of air pollution in many areas in North Carolina. When a car is idling, it's also polluting. Idling wastes money and natural resources. It can damage vehicles, pollute the air, and harm our health. Our voluntary program is aimed at distributing free signs and materials to partners interested in keeping unnecessary idling under control in their parking lot and pick-up areas.

Join us in our voluntary idle reduction campaign to make our schools healthier places, by helping to reduce unnecessary idling. Please consider reminding people in your parking areas to turn off their engines while waiting in line to pick up or drop off their children by posting these “Turn Off Your Engine” signs.

To learn more, please visit