I just heard a report from a friend returning from China that traffic lights signal before the light turns green… so that drivers can re-start their engines and prepare to move.
An article from the South China Morning Post discusses the benefits of switching engines off while waiting for a light to change.
What I found most interesting was this sentence:
A Friends of the Earth survey has found that, although less than half of the drivers polled always switched off their engines when waiting, more than 60 per cent of the drivers who left their motor running said they would be willing to switch off regularly on realising this action helps the environment.
Less than half of drivers switched off their engines already? What a huge number! Here in Oakland it would be less than one percent! Apparently, even the most mainstream Chinese drivers are already doing better than we are in terms of ending the harmful practice of unnecessary idling.