From coast to coast: Florida approves California-style idling limits

By Charlie Morasch, Land Line staff writer | Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A Florida state environmental body recently approved a five-minute idling limit for all diesel vehicles of 8,500 pounds and larger that closely resembles California’s idling regulation. The Florida reg goes into effect Dec. 15 and fines can be as much as $1,000.

The Florida Environmental Regulation Commission unanimously approved the five-minute limit on June 19. The live-minute idling limit would allow idling under the following exemptions:

  • While the driver is sleeping or resting in the sleeper berth (this exemption expires in September 2013);
  • While stopped during traffic conditions over which the driver has no control;
  • To operate defrosters, heaters, air conditioners or other equipment “to prevent a safety or health emergency”; and
  • To operate auxiliary equipment like a lift or cement mixer.

One official with Florida’s environmental department said education about the new idling limit will be more important than enforcement, initially.

“For the first year of implementation, our emphasis will be on what we call compliance assistance,” Ferris told Land Line recently. “We want to help truckers understand that the rule is out there and give them time to learn about it.”

California’s idling regulation includes a five-minute limit, unless a truck needs to idle for temperature-dependent loads or “to prevent a health emergency.”

– By Charlie Morasch, staff writer
charlie_morasch@landlinemag.com

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