Town Board takes action on idling issue

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The days of vehicles left idling for hours should be over in Yampa on Tuesday when a new law goes into effect.

On Jan. 5, the Town Board passed an ordinance that prohibits idling the motor of a vehicle for more than 15 minutes.

The ordinance was meant to address a specific problem with truckers leaving their trucks on for an extended period of time while they get something to eat or take a break, Town Clerk Janet Ray said. That problem has been noticed most on Moffat Avenue.

Residents have complained about the noise and smell from idling trucks, especially diesel trucks, she said.

"(The Town Board) felt that they just needed to do something to assist the residents on that street so there are not vehicles idling all night," Ray said.

There are several exceptions. Emergency vehicles and vehicles that must be operated in the idle mode for safety reasons, such as cranes and fork lifts, don't have to follow the new rule, according to the ordinance.

Also, the time a diesel-powered vehicle needs to warm up, and the time during which buses designed to carry 16 people or more are loading or unloading passengers are not counted in the 15 minutes.

Ray said she is not aware of complaints about residents warming up their vehicles for a long time before using them.

"People are still able to warm up their vehicles and so on," she said.

People who leave their vehicles idling for more than the allotted 15 minutes could be ticketed, Ray said. That could result in a $15 minimum fine.

-- To reach Susan Cunningham, call 871-4203 or e-mail sbacon@steamboatpilot.com

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