Utah rule intended to rein in idling restrictions

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | 4/9/2012

A new law in Utah addresses concerns raised about local ordinances around the state that limit idling for cars and trucks.

Salt Lake City approved a two-minute idling ordinance in October 2011 for vehicles parked in public spots, as well as private parking lots or driveways. First-time offenders get off with a warning. Fines for subsequent offenses start at $100.

City leaders said the rule’s intent is to improve air quality in Salt Lake Valley, where vehicle exhaust accounts for more than $50 percent of the state’s air pollution.

Opponents called the ordinance abusive and a violation of property rights.

Gov. Gary Herbert signed into law a bill to allow only ordinances that are “primarily educational.”

In addition to the Salt Lake City program, a similar rule in nearby Park City will also be affected.

When the new rule takes effect in late May three warning citations would be required to be doled out before a ticket can be issued. Fines could only be structured the same as a parking violation.

Any ordinance could only be enforced on private property that is accessible to the public, such as parking lots. Private driveways will be off limits for idling enforcement.

To view other legislative activities of interest for Utah, click here.

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