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Are you familiar with the truck idling laws in New York City?

The Law Office of Mindy Paget Brill

If you drive a truck and make deliveries in New York City, you have to be quick about dropping off goods or documents to your customers.

Your truck is idling while you make stops at various stores or offices. Are you in compliance with state and local idling laws?

Emissions and health problems

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finds that the emissions from buses and trucks are harmful to human beings. The Agency identified 21 chemicals in the exhaust from these vehicles that are either suspected or known to cause serious health problems including cancer. The chemicals include formaldehyde, acetaldehyde and benzene, among others. The EPA warns that pollutants from the exhaust can cause health issues for those with asthma, chronic bronchitis, lung cancer, cardiovascular disease and allergies. The people most at risk are those with respiratory problems.

Emissions and the environment

In the New York area, the emissions from idling trucks and buses adversely affect the environment. The EPA cites issues that include haze, smog, damage to monuments, a reduction in the yield from crops and nitrogen-induced oxygen starvation problems in coastal waters.

Illegal idling

In order to help reduce the risks to health and the environment, New York State law prohibits trucks and buses from idling longer than five consecutive minutes. New York City law limits idling time to three minutes. Exceptions include ambulances, fire trucks and other emergency vehicles that must idle while performing their services. The law also makes an exception when an engine is powering a function such as loading or unloading cargo or mixing cement. Penalties for violating the state law run between $375 and $22,500. City idling violations range between $220 and $2,000.

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