California Idling Limit Set for New Year

CARB readies five minute idle rule for heavy diesel engines

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has issued a reminder that all diesel-powered commercial vehicles that are Class 3 or larger will be allowed to idle no more than five minutes in all areas of the state, regardless of whether the vehicle is registered in California or not, beginning January 1.

There is an exemption for when a driver is using a sleeper berth, however, the five-minute rule is applicable to both auxiliary power units (APUs) and the main engine when the vehicle is within 100 ft. of homes or schools.

Violators would be subject to a minimum civil penalty of $100 and possible criminal penalties as specified by the Health & Safety and Vehicle Codes.

Exceptions to the idling rule are applicable when:

  • a vehicle is stuck in traffic, while stopped at a light or queuing;
  • during engine testing, servicing or repairing;
  • operating equipment such as a crane, turning the mixer of a cement truck, garbage collection, etc.;
  • preventing a health emergency;
  • vehicles are operating equipment as prescribed by the Americans with Disabilities Act;
  • idling is necessary to power a heater or air conditioner while using a sleeper berth.
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