Department of Environmental Conservation

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Heavy Duty Vehicle Idling Laws

New York State Environmental Conservation Law (ECL) prohibits heavy duty vehicles, including diesel trucks and buses, from idling for more than five minutes at a time.

Exceptions are when your vehicle is:

  • Stuck in traffic
  • Idling for maintenance purposes
  • Powering an auxiliary function or apparatus, such as a concrete tumbler
  • Involved in an emergency situation
  • A diesel fueled truck operating in an ambient air temperature below 25°F for more than 2 hours

Less idling time is good for the environment because it reduces air pollution, noise and fuel use. It also saves money for diesel operators and consumers and contributes to a cleaner atmosphere.

The diesel idling regulation is found in Title 6 NYCRR, Subpart 217-3 and will be enforced by DEC Conservation Officers. You may be fined from $500 to $18,000 in the case of a first violation.

No matter what kind of vehicle you drive, remember to:

  • Drive at the speed limit
  • Avoid sudden stops or starts
  • Resist topping off the fuel tank
  • Check tire pressure monthly
  • Keep your vehicle well-maintained

Remember, only five consecutive minutes of idling are allowed. Your lungs will thank you for it.