Updated guide to idling regs is online

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The American Transportation Research Institute has updated its idling regulations compendium and cab card, which provides an easy-to-read summary of limits and exceptions for more than 30 jurisdictions nationwide. Designed to be placed in a truck’s glove box, the cab card is available at www.atri-online.org. The ATRI is a nonprofit funded by the American Trucking Associations.

Idling updates include:

  • Rhode Island now has a five-minute limit. It allows an exemption during regulated rest periods, but that exemption ends July 1, 2010.
  • New Jersey has a five-minute limit, but ends its current exemption for sleeper berth rest in 2010. New Jersey also exempts technologies that reduce engine idling. Truckers stopped more than three hours are allowed to idle 25 minutes when it is 25 degrees or colder.
  • California has a five-minute limit, but ends its current exemption for sleeper berth rest Jan. 1.
  • The complexity of idling regulations is demonstrated by the terms of a single bill recently introduced in Pennsylvania. State Sen. Pat Vance, R-Cumberland/York, introduced a bill Sept. 21 that would limit idling to five minutes per hour but would allow idling in extreme temperatures.

    However, it would not apply at trucking terminals or truck stops if the temperature were colder than 40 degrees or warmer than 80 degrees and idle reduction technology were fully occupied or unavailable. This exemption would expire after three years, at which time officials expect idle reduction technology to be more common.

    Vance’s bill also would allow idling at traffic jams and traffic signals; idling to power necessary mechanical or electrical operations; and idling to operate defrosters, heaters or refrigeration required for health and safety. It would not allow idling during a rest period, or the idling of buses simply for passenger comfort. Fines in Vance’s bill would be $50 for the first offense and a $150 maximum for each subsequent offense.

    The purpose of SB 1095 is to protect the health of truckers as well as non-truckers, Vance says. “Drivers’ proper rest and health are impaired by breathing air from diesel idling,” Vance says. “Furthermore, the American Lung Association ranks Cumberland County among the 25 worst in the country for air-particle pollution.” Cumberland County, just west of Harrisburg, includes Carlisle and the Interstate 76/I-81 intersection.