In 2007 and 2008, the health unit implemented an anti-idling campaign called Turn It Off at several elementary schools and community sites in Simcoe and Muskoka. The initiative included vehicle idling awareness and education about environmental and health effects of idling for students, parents, drivers and the public. It also included on-site observations of vehicle idling behaviours before and after the campaign.
Data from the Simcoe Muskoka campaign showed an increase in the proportion of drivers who chose not to idle their vehicle from 28% (23.6%, 32.0%) in the pre-campaign period to 43% (38.0%, 47.2%) in the post-campaign period.
Among drivers who idled their vehicles, data from the Simcoe Muskoka campaign showed a decrease in idling duration from 32 seconds (median) in the pre-campaign period to 20 seconds (median) in the post-campaign period. In total, there were 10,977 seconds of less idling (3 hours, 2 minutes, 57 seconds), from 44,624 seconds (12 hours, 23 minutes, 44 seconds) during the pre-campaign period to 33,647 (9 hours, 20 hours, 47 seconds) seconds during the post-campaign seconds.
In other words, this reduction in idling resulted in less carbon dioxide (CO2) being released into the atmosphere - 3.3 tonnes per year worth.