Rhode Island Gov. Donald Carcieri signed a bill into law
Monday, July 10, that is intended to reduce unnecessary idling of large trucks
in the state.
The new law, previously H7756, prohibits truck drivers from
idling their engines for more than five consecutive minutes in any 60-minute
period. However, there are several exemptions for truckers.
Rep. Raymond Sullivan Jr., D-Coventry, said the new rule is
meant to reduce smog and cut back on pollutants that have been linked to health
problems, including asthma.
The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management will
have until July 1, 2007, to develop regulations to limit idling. The
restriction will apply only to diesel engines.
Violators will face up to $100 fines. Subsequent violations
will result in up to $500 fines.
Among the exemptions that will apply are for situations when
vehicles are stuck in traffic, required by law enforcement to stop or “when it
is necessary to operate defrosting, heating, or cooling equipment to ensure the
health or safety of the driver or passengers or to operate auxiliary equipment;
when it is necessary to bring the engine to the manufacturer’s recommended
operating temperature or when the engine is undergoing maintenance or
The new law also clarifies that auxiliary power units and
vehicles delivering fuel or energy products are not included in the
Sullivan said his bill is about common sense.
“There isn’t any benefit to letting an engine run
unnecessarily. It wastes fuel and money, creates pollution and wears down your
engine,” Sullivan said in a written statement. “I would hope that people would
choose on their own to protect the environment, but it would be helpful to have
a law to make people understand the importance of this issue.”