Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Thank you for visiting Dallas! Here’s your ticket

Idling regulations are – pardon the pun – a hot topic right now.

In part, that’s because of the weather – we’re in the heaviest of summer heat, and we’re not that far from winter.

But more important, it’s a big issue now because so many cities, counties and states are continuing to heap regulations onto truckers, despite the truckers’ basic human needs for heating in the winter and reasonable cooling in the summer.

It comes up in all kinds of situations – even in places you might not think about.

For example: the Great American Truck Show in Dallas.

Several truckers have called here to OOIDA headquarters saying officers are enforcing idling restrictions around Dallas. Since the truck show, and the lot where truckers will stay while there, are in the heart of that fine city, I think we can rest assured enforcement will happen there as well.

I was curious as to the exact regulations in effect there in Dallas, so I checked the latest issue of Land Line Magazine.

Dallas has a five-minute idling limit running from April through October every year, so the truck show would certainly be included.

But I found some good news in there as well.

The rule has a number of exceptions – including one for complying with the hours-of-service rule.

Frankly, though, if there’s a question, I would err on the side of caution.

I think we all know that enforcement officers who have a question are likely to write that ticket and ask questions later – and, as one of my co-workers here said, sometimes those exceptions aren’t worth the paper they’re written on.