of a five-minute idling restriction started in California Feb. 1.
California Air Resources Board announced it had started enforcing the
restriction, which applies to many, but not all trucks in the state.
rule will be enforced primarily by CARB diesel truck inspectors, but local law
enforcement agencies and the California Highway Patrol can also issue
citations. According to CARB, the agency’s inspectors will inspect smoking
trucks and buses for tampering and bad engine maintenance that can increase
rule will be enforced on any truck operating within the state’s borders,
regardless of where it is base plated, the agency said.
The board voted in July 2004 to restrict
most diesel engine idling in the state. At that time, it also allowed a number
of exceptions, and delayed the effective date for many rules affecting trucks
with sleeper berths until 2009.
Until then, any trucker in a vehicle with
a sleeper berth may idle if that trucker is taking a rest period required under
the hours-of-service regulations, Jerry Martin, a spokesman for the air board,
told Land Line.
However, all trucks will be subject to
some restrictions. For example, all trucks will be restricted to five minutes
of idling if they are within 100 feet of a residence. Truckers who violate that
part of the rule could face a $100 fine per violation.
More than 400,000 heavy-duty diesel
trucks and buses are registered in California, according to a statement from
the air board, and the idling restrictions could reduce consumption of diesel
in the state by a million gallons a week.
The board did delay action on some
sleeper berth rules to give the agency’s staff time to examine some of the new
technologies being offered as an alternative to idling, Martin said.
Meanwhile, sleeper berth-equipped trucks
still face some restrictions.
“You’re driving a truck with a sleeper
berth, you pull over and go to sleep for 10 hours, that’s fine,” he said. “But
when you pull up to Joe’s Sandwich Shop, and you leave your truck running for
an hour while you eat, that’s not fine.”
In that situation, “you’re going to get
treated like any other truck that’s not allowed to idle more than five
– By Mark
H. Reddig, associate editor