Idle Off

Welcome to the Idle Off project!

Why has smoking around children been banned…but idling vehicles in schools is still OK?

Every school day, parents and bus drivers idle their vehicles in school car parks across Australia and New Zealand, releasing dangerous emissions into the places where students study, play and breathe. In some cities and towns, there are areas where the air pollution is so bad that experts have compared it to smoking cigarettes.

Idling vehicles are dangerous to student health

Stand in any school car park at afternoon pick-up time and count the vehicles and buses with their engines idling. You’ll probably be surprised by the number!

Each of these vehicles is releasing a mix of carbon monoxide (CO), hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides (NO and NO2) and other toxins that affect the health and wellbeing of students.

The simple fact is there’s no good reason to sit in an idling vehicle.

What can you do about idling vehicles?

If you’re a school student, you have a really important role to play in raising awareness about the issue of dangerous vehicle emissions around your school.

The Idle Off Project has been designed for high school students and can be completed over a few weeks or a whole year. It’s completely up to your project group and teacher.

There are 4 downloadable project sheets on this website:

  1. What are transport emissions?
  2. Measuring air pollution around your school
  3. Tell your school community to IDLE OFF!
  4. Messaging and ideas to help you communicate

These project sheets are designed to be a guide, please feel free to create and add your own ideas and extra activities to suit your project group!

A Look At The Issue

> Project Sheet 1

Investigate & Analyse

> Project Sheet 2

Finding A Solution

> Project Sheet 3

Make It Memorable

> Project Sheet 4

There are 4 IDLE OFF project objectives:

  1. To understand the danger of vehicle emissions to human health
  2. To discover how much air pollution is around your school
  3. To help students, teachers, parents and bus drivers understand the risks of idling vehicles to student health
  4. To help your school community to IDLE OFF!

Glossary of words

Resources that may help

Latest News

Media releases, interviews and information about the Idle Off Project and anti-idling programs from around the world.

Tell us about your IDLE OFF project!

Do you have a great idea that you'd like to share with other students? Tell the IDLE OFF team about it! You can email us at - please copy in your mum, dad or teacher, as well as your project group. We'd love to hear how your Idle Off project is going, or how successful you thought it was!

Meet the team

You can find the Idle Off Project on LinkedIn.

Emma Sutcliffe

Emma is an electric vehicle charging, conversions & safety specialist, & the Project Director of EV FireSafe, a research & testing project looking at risks to emergency responders at EV traction battery fires. She is also a Climate Reality Project Leader with the global Al Gore-led group & drives an EV that is charged from her off-grid home solar system.

Clare Walter

Clare is involved in both research and advocacy aimed at reducing the health impacts of air pollution. She's the author of a number of peer reviewed papers focused on air pollution and health in Australia, is a guest lecturer at the University of Melbourne in environmental science and population health and a regular speaker at environment and/or health related events. Clare is the co-chair of the Health Special Interest Group of the Clean Air Society of Australia and New Zealand, and a member of the Public Health Association of Australia and the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand.

Nathan Gore-Brown

Nathan is a long time car guy who has worked around the world with car and truck brands, including Tesla. Nathan now helps fleets and government transition to cleaner, greener vehicles as a Sustainable Transport Consultant with Mov3ment.

Chris Nash

Chris is the President of the Australian Electric Vehicle Association, that was formed in 1973 and is a rapidly growing community of EV owners and businesses focused on the uptake of low-or-zero emission vehicles. The AEVA is a not-for-profit organisation that manages a range of public events, educational sessions and branch meetings, with the aim of switching Australia's transport networks to electric drive.

The Idle Off Project is funded by EV FireSafe & managed by the Australian Electric Vehicle Association. We are proudly endorsed by: