2006 Petition Drive Archive

Idle-Free VT launched its campaign with a statewide petition drive effort in August 2006 with a goal of obtaining signatures to hand over to the Vermont legislature in support of an idling restriction law. Wayne Michaud, Idle-Free VT director, was able to recruit two volunteers to help in gathering petition signatures in parts of eight Vermont counties: Addison, Caledonia, Chittenden, Grand Isle, Lamoille, Orange, Washington and Windsor.


The petition drive ended in January 2007 with 550 signatures gathered. On February 7, 2007, petitions were presented by Rep. Carol Hosford to the Natural Resources and Energy comm. at a hearing for a bill she sponsored: H.58 — School bus engines on school property. Petitions were also presented by Sen. Harold Giard to the Education comm. at a hearing for a Senate companion bill, S.13 — The idling of motor vehicle engines on school property, on February 9, 2007. S.13 passed and was enacted into law as Vermont's school bus idling rule.


On-location efforts


December 6: Chittenden County: Burlington Legacy Project

An unexpected opportunity to petition once more. The Legacy Project event took place in the Contois Auditorium of Burlington City Hall. Approx. 200 people participated in a community dinner, and presentation and discussion on transportation solutions for Burlington. Idling was on the agenda. Stephanie Clark, AmericorpVISTA volunteer and one of the event coordinators, invited Wayne Michaud to seek petition signatures. A successful haul of more than 70 signatures (including Burlington's Mayor, Bob Kiss) were gathered.


October 14: Chittenden County: Lantman's IGA Market, Hinesburg

The folks at Lantman's IGA Market in Hinesburg were most gracious in allowing permission to petition outside the front entrance. Although gusty winds presented a challenge, many food shoppers streamed by and 66 signatures were gathered in 3.5 hours by Wayne Michaud.


October 7: Addison County: "Woofstock" & Cannon Park, Middlebury

29 signatures were gathered in three hours by Wayne Michaud in a combined effort in Middlebury at the Addison County Humane Society's Woofstock event and then at Cannon Park. In the height of the fall tourist season, 75% of the people encountered were out-of-staters. Many cars passing by had curious passengers looking at the IDLE-FREE VT sign and logo display.


September 30: Lamoille County: Morrisville Farmer's Market

30 signatures were gathered in two hours by David Polow, an Idle-Free VT advisor from Lamoille County. Overall reaction was good with a general feeling that exposure in the media, and legislative enactment are the best ways to affect behavioral change in idling habits.


September 24: Washington County: Mad River Green farmer's market

Organizers of this seasonal weekly Saturday event in Waitsfield encouraged Idle-Free VT to petition. Conditions were not ideal due to the weather and that a majority of visitors were out-of-staters. 29 signatures were gathered by Wayne Michaud. A special awareness was achieved when a Massachusetts visitor complained about extended truck idling outside her company's business. Upon learning that MA has an idle-reduction law, she was eager to confront the situation.


September 16: Chittenden County

Local Motion—a non-profit organization with a mission to make the Greater Burlington area a better place to walk, bike, run and skate—generously allowed Idle-Free VT to gather signatures outside their facility along the Burlington Bike Path. While a challenge seeking to make contact with the faster moving bike path users—plus about half were not Vermonters—it still was a worthwhile effort with about 37 signatures gathered by Wayne Michaud, and a couple of useful contacts made.


August 26: Addison County: Vergennes Day

A perfect day to gather signatures right across from all the festivities on the Vergennes town green. In two and a half hours, 74 signatures were collected by Wayne Michaud—a mix of well-informed and some that learned about the issue. The highlight was an enthusiastic visit by House candidate (Addison-3 district) Liz Markowski who was making the rounds. She intends to be an active participant in the Idle-Free VT campaign.


August 16: Addison County: Idle-Free VT petition drive launches

At the Bristol town green Farmer's Market, 30 signatures were collected in two and a half hours by Wayne Michaud. It was most effective to discuss how school bus idling affects children. Several people were informed about the restart after 10 seconds of idling fact, and the 30 second max. warm up period. Some asked how an idle-reduction law could be enforced. It was stated that people observing buses or trucks idling at length could report it to police. And that the enforcement of idling could grow to be an equivalent of the "Click It or Ticket" safety belt use awareness campaign.