People who drive diesel-powered trucks and cars around Dane County may soon be fined for keeping their vehicles running at times the engine could be shut off. County Supervisor Brett Hulsey has introduced the ban on unnecessary idling as a way to save on fuel costs and protect public health. “The goal here is to clean our air, and to save fifteen lives a year,” says Hulsey. “Diesel emmisions in Dane County cause about fifteen premature deaths.”
Under the proposal, drivers who sit idling for more than five minutes an hour could be fined $50. The restrictions would not apply to buses, police, fire, and E-M-S vehicles. Other exceptions include traffic jams, extreme weather conditions, and the need to power equipment on the vehicle. The policy would only apply to townships, since the County Board has no legislative authority over cities and villages. Twenty states and more than 20 cities and counties nationwide have passed similar laws.