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Idling a semi truck for five minutes could cost you $1000 under new bill in Washington State

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Washington State lawmakers are considering a bill that would fine truckers hundreds of dollars for idling a semi truck for five minutes or more.

Senate Bill 6304, sponsored by Washington State Senator Marko Liias, would forbid “any diesel-fueled commercial motor vehicle” to “idle for more than five consecutive minutes at any location.”

The bill would allow for fines ranging from $300 to $1000 per violation per day.

The bill would also restrict the use of a diesel-fueled auxiliary power system for more than five minutes at any location within 100 feet of a restricted area, which would include individual or multifamily housing units, schools, hotels, motels, hospitals, senior care facilities, or child care facilities.

The bill defines a “diesel-fueled auxiliary power system” as “any device that is permanently dedicated to the vehicle on which it is installed and provides electrical, mechanical, or thermal energy to the primary diesel engine, truck cab or sleeper berth, bus passenger compartment, or any other commercial vehicle cab, as an alternative to idling the primary diesel engine.”

If passed, the bill would go into effect on January 2, 2025.

The bill’s supporters say that idling trucks contribute to greenhouse gas pollution and place an unfair burden on vulnerable communities:

“The legislature finds that the idling of vehicles, particularly commercial vehicles, contributes significantly to air quality concerns and greenhouse gas emissions in the state. These impacts particularly impact overburdened communities and vulnerable populations, as commercial truck routes are often located in these communities. Given the improvements in anti-idling technology and standards, it is no longer prudent to allow for the continuation of idling at current rates. Therefore, it is the intent of the legislature to limit idling of commercial vehicles in Washington.”

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