Though they have been on the books since 1993, officials in
Philadelphia have only recently decided to enforce two of the city’s idling
Beginning May 2, truck and bus drivers in the city who leave
their engines idling for longer than three minutes – except in cold weather,
heavy traffic and certain other cases – will risk being ticketed and paying a
In addition, the city’s Department of Health has its own
anti-idling rule, which carries a $300 fine for trucks left idling longer than
The Health Department recently joined forces with the
Philadelphia Parking Authority to increase enforcement of both rules, though
each department will be responsible for its own rule.
According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, the health
department had not enforced its regulation because it has only four inspectors
on staff. Parking Authority officials told the Inquirer they did not
know why their agency’s idling law had not been enforced
Now, with their combined efforts, both groups are looking to
step up enforcement and crack down on idlers.
While many state and local governments have anti-idling
laws, enforcement of those laws is patchy. The Environmental Protection Agency
announced earlier this year that it hopes to change that by developing
consistent idling laws and enforcement procedures across the country.
Philadelphia Diesel Difference, a non-profit environmental
group dedicated to reducing air pollution from diesel engines, estimates that
truck drivers spend between 1,800 and 2,400 hours per year idling.