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Introduced by Representatives Sharpe of Bristol, Deen of Westminster, Edwards of Brattleboro, French of Randolph, Hosford of Waitsfield and Masland of Thetford

Referred to Committee on


Subject:  Conservation; motor vehicles; idling

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to prohibit the idling of all motor vehicles except in limited circumstances.


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


The general assembly finds that:

(1)  There is general scientific agreement that human‑made emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse 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 emitting GHGs into the atmosphere.

(5)  If every driver of a motor vehicle in Vermont avoided idling the 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 implement policies to reduce or eliminate the idling of motor vehicles.

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


(a)  Effective July 1, 2007, no person shall allow a vehicle to idle for more than five minutes in any one‑hour period unless:

(1)  The ambient outside air temperature has been less than 20 degrees Fahrenheit for the previous 24‑hour period; or

(2)  The ambient outside air temperature is less than 10 degrees Fahrenheit.

(b)  The idling restriction in subsection (a) of this section shall not apply to:

(1)  Emergency vehicles;

(2)  Vehicles engaged in traffic operations;

(3)  Vehicles for which idling is necessary for maintenance, service, repair, or diagnostic purposes;

(4)  Vehicles that must idle to operate auxiliary equipment, including, but not limited, to pumps, compressors, or refrigeration units;

(5)  Vehicles required to idle by a federal, state, or local law enforcement officer, but only to the extent necessary to comply with such requirements; or

(6)  Vehicles en route to a destination that are stopped by traffic congestion or another condition over which the driver has no control.

Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont