By Bob Katzen
Also on the Transportation Committee’s agenda this week was a bill that reduces from five minutes to three minutes the time drivers are allowed to idle their engines. Violators will be punished by a fine of up to $100 for the first offense and $500 for each additional offense.
Supporters say that idling an engine for only fifteen seconds uses more fuel than turning the engine off and restarting it. They argue that idling also increases maintenance costs because it leaves fuel residue that clogs fuel injectors. They note that the proposal would save millions of dollars in fuel costs for individuals and cities and town and would help protect the environment.
Opponents say that the bill goes too far. They argue that the current five-minute ban on idling all vehicles is sufficient and questioned the need approve a new law and to set up another layer of bureaucracy.