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Billy Idol, Mayor Bill de Blasio Unveil 'Billy Never Idles' Anti-Idling Campaign

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - Mayor Bill de Blasio wants you to turn off your car and truck engine while parked.

To send the message, the city enlisted the help of a rock legend.

CBS2's Alice Gainer explains it was a nice day for a... press conference.

Rock concert or press conference, it was hard to tell, Gainer reported.

The crowd chanted "Billy never idles! Billy never idles!"

To spread the anti-idle message, Billy Idol. And with a rebel yell, he cried "Shut it off!"

Watch: Billy Idol, Mayor de Blasio Launch 'Billy Never Idles' Campaign

After a bit of fangirling and butchering of a classic, de Blasio got to it.

"It's a good day... It's a nice day to start again," de Blasio said. "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."

There's actually money to be made in idling. That is, if you tell on the people doing it, Gainer reported.

George Pakenham has made $16,750 in over three years for reporting idling vehicles. We watched him in action last April.

"I had 98 submissions last year," Pakenham said.

If you witness and record a truck or bus idling for longer than three minutes or more than one minute while adjacent to a school, you can file a complaint online and collect 25% of the penalty.

In total, the city says tattlers have made $387,000 so far.

The $1 million ad campaign aims to increase these complaints and expand enforcement at idling priority zones, which include Chinatown, the Port Authority, World Trade Center, Fulton Street, Richmond Terrace, Flushing, Roosevelt and Commercial Fordham Road.

So how much is Billy Idol getting paid to be the face of the campaign? Nothing.

"I just wanted to give back to the city," he said.

The Los Angeles resident says he grew up in Patchogue and Rockville Centre.

As for the mayor's motorcade, de Blasio claims he's obsessive about telling drivers to shut off the vehicles "all the blanking time."

Using language a bit more befitting a rock star than elected official, the mayor's hoping to make his point about curbing pollution.

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