Idling restrictions gain approval in Illinois House

| 3/15/2006

The Illinois House has approved a bill that would limit idling for large trucks to in certain areas of the state.

Drivers idling their trucks while sleeping or resting would be exempt from the proposed rule.

House lawmakers voted 89-25 earlier this month to prohibit diesel-powered vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of more than 8,000 pounds from stationary idling longer than 10 minutes per hour in the Chicago and East St. Louis, IL. The bill has been sent to the Senate for further consideration.

While waiting to weigh, load or unload cargo or freight, truckers would have their idling limited to no more than 30 minutes per hour, “unless they are in a line of vehicles that regularly and periodically moves forward,” wrote Rep. Elaine Nekritz, D-Des Plaines.

Violators would face a fine of $50 for a first offense. A second or subsequent offense within any 12-month period would result in a $150 fine.

Certain exceptions would apply.

The proposed idling rule would be waived when temperatures are less than 32 degrees Fahrenheit or higher than 80 degrees.

Truck drivers would also be allowed to operate defrosters, heaters, air conditioners, or other equipment necessary “to prevent a safety or health emergency.”

The idling prohibition wouldn’t apply when idling of trucks is required “to operate auxiliary equipment to accomplish the intended use of the vehicle,” such as controlling cargo temperature, loading, unloading or mixing.

HB4782 is in the Senate Rules Committee.