Vermont bill would impose idling restriction

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Vermont already limits how long buses can be left idling outside of schools.

Sponsored by Rep. Dave Sharpe, D-Addison, the bill would add diesel-powered vehicles weighing more than 10,000 pounds to the state?s idling restriction. Affected vehicles would be limited to idling for no more than five minutes per hour.

If approved, the bill ? H154 ? would end the state?s distinction as being the lone holdout in the New England region not to have idling restrictions for trucks.

An analysis included in the bill states that excessive truck idling is extremely detrimental to the state?s air quality, and costs business more money. The proposed restriction is touted as going a long way in making cleaner air more widely available.

Violators would get off with a warning. Repeat offenses within one year could result in up to $150 fines while subsequent offenses within one year could result in up to $500 fines.

The Department of Motor Vehicles would be authorized to adopt rules authorizing longer idling times when ?circumstances exist when such idling is reasonably necessary.?

Examples of circumstances that would warrant additional idling are to operate defrosting, heating, or cooling equipment ?to ensure the health or safety of the operator or passengers.?

Standards in place in other states would also be reviewed to maintain consistency.

Todd Spencer, OOIDA?s executive vice president, encourages Vermont truckers to begin a dialogue with their lawmakers about the issue.

H154 is awaiting consideration in the House Natural Resources and Energy Committee.

To view other legislative activities of interest for Vermont, click here.

Editor?s Note: Please share your thoughts with us about the legislation included in this story. Comments may be sent to statelegislativedesk@ooida.com.

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