Winthrop University Police Department

No Idling Policy

Engine emissions are increasingly connected to a wide variety of health complaints and contribute to global warming. Turning off a vehicle is a simple and cost-effective way to reduce noise, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, protect health, and extend engine life. For these reasons, Winthrop University has adopted the following no idling policy. This policy is directed to Winthrop University employees and students as well as external contractors, vendors, and others who deliver supplies or convey passengers to and from campus facilities.


  • Idling a vehicle 10 minutes a day uses more than 25 gallons of gasoline a year. Cars do not need to be warmed up except in below-zero conditions.

  • An idling engine produces twice as many exhaust emissions as an engine in motion.

  • Idling engines contribute unnecessarily to global warming through emissions of greenhouse gases.

  • An idling engine is not operating at its peak temperature, which means fuel combustion is incomplete. Soot deposits can accumulate on cylinder walls leading to oil contamination and damaged components. Idling, while warming an engine, does not warm the wheel bearings, steering, transmission and tires--only driving does this.

  • Idling a diesel-powered engine for over 30 seconds uses more fuel than restarting the engine.

  • Idling a gasoline-powered engine for over 10 seconds uses more fuel than restarting the engine.


Employees and students using personal or Winthrop University gasoline or diesel powered passenger vehicles and light trucks should turn them off if idling more than 30 seconds. Larger diesel vehicles operating under heavy load should be allowed to idle for 3 minutes to cool down. Vehicles should not be left running while unattended. The operator of the vehicle/equipment should turn off the unit and remove the keys from the ignition.

Visitors to campus, including buses and contractor/vendor vehicles, are subject to the same policy as employees and students and will be asked to comply.

This policy does not apply if it creates a safety issue, for stationary patrol by the Winthrop University Police Department, disrupts work, or if the outside temperature is between -10 and 32 degrees F or greater than 90 degrees F.

The success of this policy depends upon the thoughtfulness, respect and cooperation of all drivers. All students, employees, faculty, staff, and visitors share the responsibility of following and encouraging compliance with the policy. Employees, faculty, staff, and students who fail to comply with this policy may be subject to disciplinary action for noncompliance with University policies. Clients, contractors and visitors who fail to comply with this policy may be asked to leave the campus, have access to the campus denied and/or other appropriate measures taken to ensure future compliance with the policy. Should anyone refuse cooperation, the Winthrop University Police Department may be summoned to assist in the matter and respond accordingly, such as placing visitors on trespass notification should they fail to comply and are requested to leave university premises.