Truckers Fume Over Diesel-Idle Restriction
New rules instituted July 22 by the state of California will restrict all nonessential truck idling to five minutes, according to the Sacramento Bee newspaper on July 29. That means less air conditioning, heating, or power for other creature comforts for truck owners. The regulation is part of a campaign to cut down on diesel emissions, which the California Air Resources Board (CARB) estimates make up 70 percent of the state's airborne toxic substances. Exceptions include work-related idling, such as when drivers are loading or unloading their trucks, and idling during federally mandated rest periods, said Jerry Martin, a spokesman for the Air Resources Board. Truckers who ignore the regulations will receive a $100 ticket. Twenty other states and municipalities have some restrictions on idling. "(Truck idling) is a habit drivers are going to have to change," said Stephanie Williams, senior vice president of the California Trucking Association. "It's a short-term comfort issue."