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BILL AS INTRODUCED 2007-2008

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H.69

Introduced by   Representatives Hosford of Waitsfield, Deen of Westminster, Edwards of Brattleboro, French of Randolph, Head of S. Burlington, Lorber of Burlington, McFaun of Barre Town, Minter of Waterbury, Mrowicki of Putney, Sharpe of Bristol, Spengler of Colchester and Weston of Burlington

Referred to Committee on

Date:

Subject:  Conservation; motor vehicle operation; idling of vehicles

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to prohibit a motor vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 10,000 pounds to idle while the motor vehicle is stopped for a period of time in excess of five consecutive minutes in any 60‑minute period unless otherwise exempted under rules adopted by the department of motor vehicles.

AN ACT RELATING TO THE IDLING OF MOTOR VEHICLES

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1.  FINDINGS

The General Assembly finds that:

(1)  There is general scientific agreement that human-made emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouses gases (GHGs)‚ primarily from the combustion of fossil fuels‚ are the major causes of global climate change.

(2)  One of the largest sources of GHG emissions is the transportation sector‚ due mainly to its dependence on fossil fuels such as gasoline and diesel fuel.  Burning these fuels produces carbon dioxide‚ the principal GHG‚ making the transportation sector the largest source of carbon dioxide emissions in Vermont.

(3)  Modern vehicle engines only require 30 seconds of idling in the winter to circulate oil through the engine.

(4)  Allowing a vehicle to idle for more than 30 seconds wastes fuel, does little to heat the engine, and contributes to global climate change by emiting GHGs into the atmosphere.

(5)  If every driver of a motor vehicle in Vermont avoided idling their motor vehicle for just five minutes a day‚ the state would save millions of gallons of fuel and would prevent thousands of tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere and contributing to climate change.

(6)  In order to reduce the impact of the state on global climate change, Vermont should enact legislation and implement policies to reduce or eliminate the idling of motor vehicles.


Sec. 2.  23 V.S.A. § 1111a is added to read:

§ 1111a.  IDLING OF MOTOR VEHICLES

(a)  On or after July 1, 2008, no person shall cause, allow, or permit the unnecessary operation of a motor vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 10,000 pounds while the motor vehicle is stopped for a period of time in excess of five consecutive minutes in any 60‑minute period unless otherwise exempted under rules adopted by the department of motor vehicles under subsection (c) of this section.  The following vehicles shall be exempt from this section:

(1)  Police, fire, rescue, ambulance, and other public safety motor vehicles;

(2)  Military vehicles;

(3)  Armored vehicles when a person remains inside the vehicle to guard the contents; and

(4)  Vehicles delivering fuel or energy products.

(b)  The department of motor vehicles, in collaboration with the agency of  natural resources, shall adopt rules governing the idling of a motor vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than rating over 10,000 pounds.  The rules shall set forth periods or circumstances that reasonably require the idling of an engine, including periods when it is necessary to operate defrosting, heating, or cooling equipment to ensure the health or safety of the driver or passengers or to operate auxiliary equipment; and periods when the engine is undergoing maintenance or inspection.  In adopting the rules, the commissioner of motor vehicles shall review standards in effect in other states and shall endeavor to maintain consistency with those standards.

(c)  A person who violates a provision of this section commits a civil violation and shall be subject to a civil penalty of not more than $500.00.



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us