All Idling in California to be Limited to Five Minutes in 2008
January 1, 2008 will mark the end of the idling exemption. Previously, idling was allowed for periods of rest or sleep while in a sleeper berth as long as you were at least 100 feet away from a restricted area. Now, no matter where you are in the state, you can be ticketed for idling your engine more than five minutes with the exception of idling in emergency situations. Under no circumstances will idling be allowed within 100 feet of a school, senior citizen facility or public park, as is enforced under the current law.
The new rule will be enforced primarily by ARB diesel truck inspectors. However, local law enforcement agencies and the California Highway Patrol can also issue citations. The rule will apply to any truck idling for more than five minutes and any bus idling for more than ten minutes when not engaged in work activities. Similar to other ARB rules, the idling rule will apply to any truck or bus operating within the state’s borders regardless of where they were registered.
The ARB assumes that most operators will comply with the rule simply to reduce fuel costs. According to ARB data, the average diesel heavy-duty engine burns about one gallon of fuel per hour while idling. Therefore, ARB inspectors will focus on instructing drivers to the advantages of shutting off their engines when the vehicles are not in use.
As of 2008, no matter if you are in Death Valley or heading over Donner Pass, your idling time will be limited to five minutes. The sleeper berth exemption will no longer exist. Take action now to protect yourself.