California issues advisory with details of anti-idling port law

| 9/5/2003

California’s South Coast Air Quality Management District has issued an advisory to truckers and trucking companies to let them know about a new state law that fines ports for making trucks idle too long.

Under AB2650, port terminal operators will be fined every time they make a trucker wait – and idle – more than 30 minutes. Truckers would not pay fines under the law.

The law was passed last year and signed by the governor in September 2002. It became effective in July of this year.

 It also would fine terminal operators who divert trucks to freeways or remote staging areas to avoid the law. And it would prohibit passing the cost of fines to truck owners and operators, according to the General Assembly’s Web site.

Terminal operators could be fined $250 for every truck in violation. Since some terminals handle roughly 2,000 gate moves each day, and many truckers have historically waited an hour or even longer to pick up loads, those fines could add up quickly for slow-moving terminals.

The state’s notice noted two ways ports are coping with the new law:

  • Maintaining longer gate hours for trucks - 70 or more hours per 5-day work week with fully staffed gates;
  • Implementing an appointment system for entry into the terminal.

Truckers are encouraged to make appointments with terminal operators to reduce waits.

Truckers who are forced to wait and idle more than 30 minutes can report offenses. In Southern California, truckers can call the South Coast Air Quality Management District at 1-800-CUT-SMOG (1-800-288-7664).