Idling Laws

Vermont state law: prohibited idling of motor vehicles


In May 2013, Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin signed into law S.150 - An act relating to miscellaneous amendments to laws related to motor vehicles, a bill passed by the legislature, which includes the provision: prohibited idling of motor vehicles. The law became effective May 5, 2014; it limits the idling of all motor vehicles while parked to five minutes in any 60 minute period, with exceptions. This is the law: 23 V.S.A. § 1110. Prohibited idling of motor vehicles. As enacted into law: Act 57 (Section 28, pages 30-32).


Vermont school bus idling rule


In 2007, the Vermont legislature, learning of the negative impact idling school buses had on students, taxpayers and Vermont's environment, passed Act 48: an act related to the idling of school buses on school grounds. This became know as the Vermont School Bus Idling Rule, enacted into law in 2008.


Learn more about the Vermont School Bus Idling Rule on the Schools page.


Vermont unattended motor vehicle law


23 V.S.A. § 1111. Unattended motor vehicle prohibits allowing a vehicle's engine to run while unattended in public. Enacted in 1973 to discourage vehicle theft but can also be applied toward idling enforcement. Many Vermonters are not aware that if leaving a vehicle unattended in public (such as going into a convenience store), the engine must be shut off. Police call the practice of leaving the car running while unattended, especially in cold weather, "puffing" - puffs of hot exhaust into cold air that acts like a beacon to would-be car thieves.


Vermont "smoky truck" law


23 V.S.A. § 1222a. Emissions of diesel-powered commercial vehicles: Observe a commercial truck spewing black soot from its exhaust? It may be stopped and an inspection performed if it appears vehicle exhaust exceeds standard.


City of Burlington idling restriction ordinance


The city of Burlington has a no idling ordinance (Chapter 20 Motor Vehicles and Traffic > 20-55 General Prohibitions - scroll to (e) ) which restricts vehicle idling to three minutes, with certain exemptions. Pictured: no idling sign in Burlington.

Idling laws/regulations in other states


As of 2016, a total of 18 U.S. states have statewide idling laws/regulations with additional states have jurisdictional idling measures. These cover at least trucks over a certain GVWR, with seven covering all motor vehicles. Maximum idling time limits vary from three to 15 minutes (usually in any 60-minute period). All of these laws/regulations list exceptions or exemptions related to safety, operation, or comfort.


The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI), a well-known leader in transportation-related research, has a Compendium of Idling Regulations. In addition, the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Clean Cities, offers IdleBase, a comprehensive database of known idling laws/regulations related to the idling of all classes of on-road vehicles. The database, which covers vehicles ranging from motorcycles and passenger cars to school buses and heavy-duty trucks, is available here for Excel download.

California - diesels 10,001+ lbs.

Connecticut - all vehicles

Delaware - vehicles 8,501+ lbs.

Hawaii - all vehicles

Maine - all vehicles except private


Maryland - all vehicles

Massachusetts - all vehicles

Nevada - all diesels

New Hampshire - all vehicles

New Jersey - all vehicles

New York - vehicles 8,501+ lbs.

North Carolina - vehicles 10,001+

  lbs. REPEALED 2015

Oregon - vehicles 10,001+ lbs.

Pennsylvania - diesels 10,001+ lbs.

Rhode Island - all diesels

South Carolina - diesels 10,001+ lbs.

Vermont - all vehicles

Virginia - all commercial vehicles

West Virginia - diesels 10,001+ lbs.

No-idling signs for non-profit entities -- like the one pictured that includes Vermont's statutory language -- can be ordered from the  Vermont Correctional Industries (VCI) Sign Shop: toll free 866-729-8715, local 802-334-8994


For-profit entities can order signs from a commercial printer.

Ordering No Idling Signs