Trucking associations support anti-idling campaign

The American Trucking Associations (ATA) and several of its affiliates support the Diesel Idle Reduction Campaign headed by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG), in partnership with the District Department of the Environment, District Department of Transportation, and Maryland Department of the Environment.

Aims of the campaign, which include reducing discretionary idling, improving public health, and protecting the environment, align with goals of ATA’s Sustainability Initiative.

ATA launched its six-prong campaign in 2008, with one goal being the reduction of both discretionary and non-discretionary idling. Discretionary idling, the type being targeted by COG’s campaign, occurs when drivers leave engines running during their rest periods to provide heat or air-conditioning for the sleeper compartment, keep the engine warm during cold weather, and provide electrical power for appliances. Non-discretionary idling, which can be reduced by improvements to the national highway system that alleviate bottlenecks, occurs when vehicles are stuck in congested traffic.

“When truck and bus drivers turn off their engines when they’re not needed, they do more than avoid fines and cut fuel costs,” said Glen Kedzie, ATA vice-president and environmental affairs counsel. “They take an important and easy step toward improving air quality.”

Other components of the ATA sustainability plan include:

•Federal laws requiring trucks to have speed governors set at 65 mph or below, and a national speed limit of 65 mph for all vehicles.

•Allowing more productive truck weights and combinations, which safely improve fuel economy.

•Expansion of the EPA SmartWay Transportation program, which works to reduce greenhouse gases and save fuel.

•Reducing idling by updating the interstate system and reducing traffic congestion.

•Developing fuel economy standards for commercial vehicles.

Affiliates of ATA supporting COG’s idle reduction campaign include the Truckload Carriers Association, Maryland Motor Truck Association, and Virginia Trucking Association.

ATA helps promote idling reduction by making its members aware of each jurisdiction’s idling regulations. The American Transportation Research Institute regularly updates its idling compendium when new regulations are published.

For more information about ATA’s Sustainability Initiative, visit www.trucksdeliver.org.

To obtain more details about the COG diesel idle reduction campaign, visit www.equals3.com/TurnYourEngineOff/.

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