Idling restrictions sent to Illinois governor

| Friday, March 31, 2006

The Illinois Senate has unanimously approved a bill that would limit idling for large trucks in certain areas of the state. However, drivers idling their trucks while sleeping or resting would be exempt from the proposed rule.

Senators voted Tuesday, March 28, to advance the bill to Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s desk. The House approved it 89-25 earlier this month.

The bill – HB4782 – would 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 areas that include Chicago and East St. Louis, IL.

Rep. Elaine Nekritz, D-Des Plains, said the rule is needed because many times the trucks must wait three or four hours to conduct business.

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,” Nekritz wrote.

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.

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