Ed Driscoll

Idle Politics

In California, it may soon be illegal for truckers and bus drivers to leave their vehicles idling for more than 5 minutes. As the L.A. Daily News comments:

The idea behind the ban, which the California Air Resources Board passed Thursday, is to stop idling trucks from unnecessarily spewing pollution into the air. And it’s a fine goal — just one that’s not likely to be attained by any bureaucratic ban and the threat of a $100 fine.

The problem is enforcement. Are California Highway Patrol officers and local police officers, armed with stopwatches, going to stand around monitoring every truck and every bus at every stop they make, counting off the minutes?

Curbing pollution is important, but a ban that’s utterly unenforceable and would take law enforcement officers away from more important duties is scarcely worth the effort.

More important, trucking companies and bus operators have a vested interest in curbing idling on their own — the high price of fuel. Isn’t the more realistic answer an education program for drivers on how they are wasting their company’s money? And isn’t their boss likely to get a more positive response than a cop with a stopwatch?

I’m no expert on diesel engines, but I’ll bet stopping and resarting them probably wastes more fuel–and possibly generates more polution than idling them.

According to AP, “It will take effect in about six months if it withstands a technical review by the state’s Office of Administrative Law.”

More red tape from an out of control legislation. Arnold needs to really get a handle on the girlie men–and soon.

(Via Newsfeed.)