Cover Story
Hardly idle
Several new states have recently begun, or will soon start, enacting and enforcing idling restrictions in 2010

By Charlie Morasch
staff writer


Even though California is often the first state truckers think of when it comes to idling, idling limits have exploded across most of the United States, particularly in the South and on the East Coast.

Recent and new idling restrictions include entire states or regions in the following states:

Florida: In December 2008, Florida enacted its idling restriction of five minutes. The state has been mostly educating drivers who are caught idling the first time, and apparently plans to continue enforcing the regulation on repeat offenders.

Maine: Maine’s newly implemented idling restriction was signed into law in 2008. The law allows idling for 15 minutes per hour when temperatures are 32 degrees or colder and permits unlimited idling when temperatures are below zero.

Missouri: St. Louis’ idling limit dropped from 10 minutes to five minutes, and new five-minute idling limits now exist in Clay, Franklin, Jackson, Jefferson, Platte, St. Charles and St. Louis counties.

Pennsylvania: The state began enforcing a new idling limit in February 2008. All trucks 10,000 pounds or greater are restricted to five idling minutes per hour. A one-year exemption for temperatures below 40 degrees or above 75 expires on May 1, 2010.

South Carolina: Trucks can idle for up to 10 minutes per hour, or unlimited during rest periods and when temperatures are less than 40 degrees or higher than 80.

Texas: Trucks are limited to five minutes in the cities of Arlington, Austin, Bastrop, Benbrook, Cedar Hill, Celina, Colleyville, Dallas, Elgin, Euless, Georgetown, Hurst, Hutto, Keene, Lake Worth, Lancaster, Little Elm, Lockhart, Luling, Mabank, McKinney, Mesquite, North Richland Hills, Pecan Hill, Round Rock, Rowlett, San Marcos, University Park, Westlake, and in counties that include Bastrop, Caldwell, Collin, Hays, Kaufman, Tarrant, Travis and Williamson.

North Carolina, Georgia, Wisconsin and other areas have made noise about enacting their own idling regulations. LL