Oregon's new law prohibiting truck idling for more than five minutes goes into effect Jan. 1; OOIDA says investing in anti-idling technology is difficult for small businesses in this economy

GRAIN VALLEY, Missouri , December 29, 2011 () – Oregon will ring in the New Year by implementing a plan to reduce emissions. OOIDA says there are concerns that need to be addressed.

Intended to crack down on unnecessary idling of commercial vehicles, a new law in effect Sunday, Jan. 1, sets a statewide standard for idling. Trucks are to be prohibited from idling for more than five minutes each hour on property open to the public.

Violators would face $180 fines.

Examples of circumstances that warrant additional idling are operating defrosting, heating, or air conditioners, or installing equipment necessary to comply with manufacturers’ operating requirements, specifications, and warranties, or with federal, state or local safety regulations.

An exception would also be made for air conditioning or heating during a rest or sleep period when the outside temperature is below 50 degrees or above 75 degrees.

The exception does not apply if the truck is equipped with an auxiliary power unit or other idle-reduction technology. It would also be unacceptable to park near a grade school and idle, regardless of temperature.

A recent OOIDA survey found that 37 percent of owner-operator members have some type of anti-idling equipment.

Joe Rajkovacz, OOIDA director of regulatory affairs, said there are a lot of reasons why truckers have not invested in the technology.

“Whether you believe anti-idling regulations are noble or not, it is difficult in this economy for small businesses to access the capital necessary to outfit their trucks with anti-idle technology so that drivers can get restorative rest during their federally required rest periods,” Rajkovacz said.

Another exception to the five-minute rule will be made for idling up to 30 minutes while a truck is waiting to load or unload, as well as actually loading or unloading.

Also, cities and counties are prohibited from setting up their own rules to regulate truck idling.

Critics said the pre-emption blocks cities and local governments from adopting stricter rules. Supporters said the new rules are a step forward for the state.

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