Oregon Governor Signs Idling Reduction Law

June 20, 2011

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Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber signed HB 2081, an idling reduction bill, into law on June 16. The new law means that trucks will not be allowed to idle more than five minutes in any 60 minute period, with some exceptions.
It also prohibits any city or county from creating their own idling restrictions.

The penalty is $180 and would be levied against drivers, not the owners of the trucks, reports The Oregonian. The law will go into effect Jan. 1, 2012.

According to published reports, exceptions include operating heating or air conditioning during a rest or sleep period when the outside temperature is below 50 degrees or above 75 degrees. The exception would not apply if the truck is equipped with an auxiliary power unit or other idle-reduction technology. It would also be illegal to idle while parked near a school, regardless of temperature.

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

The city of Ashland has an idling ordinance that would be grandfathered in under the bill.

The final rule does not have an original provision that could have potentially held lessors liable for their customers' idling violations. An early version of the bill had a provision that would have allowed law enforcement to issue a citation for violating the new idling restrictions to the person operating the commercial vehicle, the registered owner, or both.

The Truck Rental and Leasing Association was concerned that this would have opened the door for lessors as registered owners to be cited for potential violations by their customers operating the vehicle. The bill's sponsors agreed to amend the provision so that a citation may be issued to the person operating the commercial vehicle, the motor carrier as defined in ORS 825.005, or both.

You can read the complete bill here.

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