City Hall

Why Dallas Can't Strengthen Anti-Idling Rules

On March 23, 2007, the Dallas City Council signed off on the anti-idling ordinance, which went into effect October 1, 2007, and penalized vehicles weighing more than 14,000 pounds from idling for more than five minutes between April 1 and October 31 -- the so-called "ozone season." Drivers caught idling longer than five minutes are punished with a fine that can't top $500. But as far as the city's concerned, idling of "heavy-duty vehicles" is a "major contributor to the ozone problem in the Dallas-Fort Worth area," and the current law isn't tough enough, which is why city staff has been looking at refining the ordinance.

Says a memo Assistant City Manager Jill Jordan sent to council Friday, staff's been researching making the ordinance year-round, and lightening the load from 14,000 pounds to 6,000 pounds. Problem is, the current ordinance is the same as the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality's -- and if they city passed its do-over, then that would make Dallas's anti-idling laws stricter than the state's. And that's a no-go. TCEQ is considering going year-round, but not dropping the weight requirement. Jordan's memo to the council explaining all the what-the-whats follows.

Dallas Anti-Idling Update

KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky