The California Air Resources Board (CARB) announced today it has begun enforcing its truck idling rules. The rules were originally slated to take effect on Jan. 1, 2005 but were delayed pending approval from the state’s Office of Administrative Language.
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.
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.
CARB truck inspectors are primarily responsible for enforcement, but local law enforcement and the California Highway Patrol could also issue citations. Violators will be subject to a minimum civil penalty of $100 and possible criminal penalties as specified by the state’s 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.
For more information, visit CRB’s website at www.arb.ca.gov.