Enforcement

Enforcement of the Pennsylvania Diesel-Powered Motor Vehicle Idling Act (35 P.S. § 4601 (2009)) is handled by the following entities:

Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP)

  • If you think you see an idling violation, call the toll-free Citizen Complaint Line at 1-866-255-5158.
  • Jump HERE for more information about PADEP’s Diesel Idling program.

State and Local Law Enforcement

State and local police departments are also authorized to enforce Pennsylvania’s anti-idling laws.  Violations of the law are considered non-traffic summary citations.  The following language, used by PADEP enforcement, is recommended for state and local police department citations:

  • For driver or owner of vehicle: Defendant, the [driver or owner] of a diesel-powered motor vehicle with a gross weight of 10,001 pounds or more that was engaged in commerce and not subject to a statutory exclusion or exception, caused the engine of that vehicle to idle for more than five minutes in a continuous 60-minute period, which period of idling was not subject to a statutory exemption, resulting in a violation of the Diesel-Powered Motor Vehicle Idling Act. Title 35, Section 4603.
  • For location owner or operator: Defendant, the [owner or operator] of the [truck stop, warehouse, terminal, etc.] allowed the engine of a diesel-powered motor vehicle with a gross weight of 10,001 pounds or more, that was engaged in commerce and not subject to a statutory exclusion or exception, to idle for more than 5 minutes in a continuous 60-minute period, which period of idling was not subject to a statutory exemption, resulting in a violation of the Diesel-Powered Motor Vehicle Idling Act. Title 35, Section 4603.

How Idling Citations Work

  1. Citations are issued like traffic tickets, although they are not considered to be moving violations.
  2. State police officers, local police officers, and  DEP enforcing agents can all issue citations.
  3. Citations are then adjudicated in Traffic Court with the defendant permitted to challenge the citation.
  4. The Traffic Court judge will rule on the citation.
  5. If the defendant is found to be in violation of the idling law, the judge will determine the fine (between $150 and $300, plus court costs).
  6. If the the person issuing the citation is a police officer, the judge will also determine how much of the fine should be given to the officer’s department.  Typically this will be half of the fine.
  7. The idling violation generally must be witnessed by the officer or enforcing agent, although it is possible for a Traffic Court judge to make a ruling based on the testimony of a third party witness.
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  1. August 24, 2010 at 7:54 pm

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