At last night’s Town Council meeting, Jerry Shimonaski, the chairman of the Verona Environmental Commission shared the success of this year’s Idle-Free Verona poster contest. The contest, which is held as part of Walk To School Day, encourages elementary school children to create signs to remind Verona’s drivers to turn off their engines when waiting at schools. This year, 130 posters were created at the four elementary schools. One winning poster was chosen at each school and the winners will be honored at a Town Council ceremony on November 7.
This year, the VEC also enlisted businesses to spread the word about idling. Several stores around town hung posters from the 2009 and 2010 contests in their windows, including King’s Supermarket, C & J Trophies, Verona Aluminum, J T’s Barber Shop, Towne Scoop, Lakeside Deli, Terry’s Family Pharmacy, Trend, Gemmel’s Cleaners, Carnevale Service Center and AFG Framing Design Center. The posters went up on October 4 and will begin to come down as early as today.
At the meeting, Shimonaski also asked the Council to enforce the state laws against idling. New Jersey law prohibits idling for more than three minutes by gas or diesel-powered vehicles, except under certain limited conditions. The fine is $250 per incident, and Shimonski reminded the Council that it does not need a resolution or ordinance to begin enforcement. He noted that Essex County is enforcing the no-idling laws at several of its buildings and that it wants towns to put up more signs reminding drivers to turn off their engines.