Utah House Votes to Overturn City’s Truck Idling Limits

A bill passed by Utah’s House of Representatives last month would overturn Salt Lake City’s ban on excessive idling and restrict the ability of other municipalities to pass similar ordinances.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Wayne Harper (R), would allow local anti-idling laws only if they are primarily for education and not designed to be punitive. The House approved the bill, 42-28, sending it to the state Senate.

Harper’s bill is designed to overturn a Salt Lake City ordinance, which prohibits idling longer than two minutes for all vehicles, regardless of size.

It took effect shortly after the city passed it in October, but an enforcement grace period extends until April, the city said. After that, first-time offenders will get a warning, while the second offense will bring a fine of $160, and $210 for the third violation.

Harper told the Salt Lake Tribune the bill was “abusive and a violation of property rights.”


The bill is a product of continuing tensions between Salt Lake City and the state, said Dave Creer, executive director of the Utah Trucking Association.

“There’s a Democratic mayor, and the mayor of the county is also a Democrat, in a state that’s nearly pure Republican,” Creer told Transport Topics. “So there’s always been a little bit of argument and debate between the city and the legislature.”

But the UTA has not taken a position on the Salt Lake City law, nor on Harper’s move to overturn it.