Rhode Island bill sets timing standards for idling

| 4/10/2003

A Rhode Island lawmaker is pushing legislation to keep diesel-powered vehicles from idling for prolonged periods of time.

Under H5190, introduced by House Deputy Majority Leader Joseph McNamara, D-Warwick, diesel vehicle idling standards would be implemented, backed up by fines ranging from $75 for a first offense to $500 for a third or subsequent violation.

Currently before the House Committee on Corporations, the bill “would prohibit owners or operators of diesel-powered motor vehicles from allowing them to idle for more than five minutes, except under certain specified exceptions,” McNamara said in a statement.

The bill would also prohibit school buses with diesel engines from idling on school property, or at “designated drop-off/pick-up zones.”

Exceptions from the idling restriction would "allow diesel-powered engines to idle when the outdoor temperature is below 20 degrees Fahrenheit, and to idle up to 15 minutes each hour when the outdoor temperature is between 20 and 32 degrees. A diesel-powered vehicle would also be allowed to idle up to 20 minutes from a cold start at the owner's or operator's place of business," McNamara said.