Mayor Bill de Blasio is channeling his inner Michael Bloomberg with a new campaign to punish drivers for idling their cars on the streets of New York City, and he got 1980s rocker Billy Idol to help.
It’s all an effort to end global warming, the mayor said.
“It’s a good day… It’s a nice day to start again,” de Blasio said from his podium on Thursday. “Idling is just stupid… If we stopped unnecessary idling in New York City, it would mean the equivalent of taking 18,000 cars off the road every single day.”
Billy Idol is partnering with the city on a $1 million anti-idling campaign featuring billboards, gas station TV ads, and a website, all centered around that Idle/Idol thing https://t.co/0aHxn2xZ4D
— Gothamist (@Gothamist) February 27, 2020
— Yoav Gonen (@yoavgonen) February 27, 2020
There were even t-shirts made up for the one million-dollar campaign:
There are t-shirts for today’s Billy Idol “No Idling” event pic.twitter.com/S7qOkdFf80
— katie honan (@katie_honan) February 27, 2020
At one point, Billy Idol began chanting his new catch phrase, “Billy Never Idols,” over and over again and encouraged the crowd to join him:
"New Yorkers are some of the most passionate people in the world and I hope they will join me in turning off their engines" — @BillyIdol declared a war on idling at City Hall today. https://t.co/0aHxn2xZ4D pic.twitter.com/I03AfiSbst
— Gothamist (@Gothamist) February 28, 2020
— Pitchfork (@pitchfork) February 27, 2020
For all the frivolity, the program features some old-fashioned leftist polices including cash payoffs to tattle on neighbors who violate the mayor’s new proscriptions against idling.
In fact, the payoffs can be substantial for the most dedicated tattlers. According to CBS New York, New Yorker George Pakenham made $16,750 reporting idling vehicles to the city government.
According to City Hall, the idling tattling program has paid out a whopping $387,000 to those reporting on idlers.
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