Illinois governor signs idling restrictions

| Thursday, June 15, 2006

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich signed a bill into law June 9 limiting idling for large trucks in certain areas of the state. However, drivers idling their trucks while sleeping or resting are exempt from the rule.

The new law, previously HB4782, prohibits 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. It takes effect July 1.

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 will 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 will face $50 fines for a first offense. Second or subsequent offenses within any 12-month period would result in $150 fines. Certain exceptions apply.

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

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

The idling prohibition will not apply when idling of trucks is required “to operate auxiliary equipment to accomplish the intended use of the vehicle.”  Examples specifically cited by the bill include “loading, unloading, mixing, or processing cargo; controlling cargo temperature, construction operations; lumbering operations; oil and gas well servicing or farming operations.”

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