Pennsylvania Senate passes anti-idling bill

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The Pennsylvania Senate has passed a bill to sharply limit the amount of time tractor-trailers and other large trucks can idle their engines during rest stops, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported today, Feb. 14.

SB 295, sponsored by Sen. Pat Browne (R-Lehigh), would allow truckers to idle only five minutes per hour. The bill now goes to the House, where its future is uncertain; if it becomes law, a violator would be fined $50 for each time he or she idles too long.

Exceptions to the rule, effective until May 2010, would include when temperatures drop below 40 degrees Fahrenheit or rise above 75 degrees, or if drivers have some sort of emergency, according to the newspaper. After that date, it is expected that anti-idling technology would be more readily available.

“Idling motor vehicles needlessly waste hundreds of millions of gallons of diesel fuel,” Browne says. “By enacting this restriction, we will save fossil fuels and make Pennsylvania less energy-dependent. This legislation meets many of our goals for the environment and energy independence that we have set in the Senate.”