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Vermont Idling Law Starts Monday

Leave your car parked and running for more than five minutes and you risk a fine.

COLCHESTER, Vt. - Vermont’s new idle-free law starts Monday. Drivers who leave their car idling for more than five minutes run the risk of being fined.

“If you're idling for three, five, ten, twenty minutes it’s ongoing emissions,” Idle-Free Vermont’s Wayne Michaud said.

Michaud has fought for this rule since 2006 when he started Idle-Free Vermont.

“Idling affects your health, wastes energy, causes carbon emissions and you know takes money away from you,” Michaud said.

The fine will take money away from you too. It’s $10 the first time, $50 for a second time and $100 for any additional violations.

But it's not the month of May when people worry about getting caught idling.

“Only when it’s the winter months and I need to defrost my windshield,” Adrian Walter said.

State law says you can let your car idle to perform safety operations such as defrosting your windshield and there are other exceptions.

“If you're in your private drive way it's unlimited free (time) to idle if you have a vehicle under 10,000 pounds,” Michaud said.

FULL LIST OF EXEMPTIONS HERE.

In Burlington a three minute idling ordinance is already in place but is rarely monitored by police.

“People are more worried about their meters running out then getting fined for idling,” Kayleigh Kerr, who works on Main Street in Burlington, said.

“It's not going to be that well enforced to be honest with you,” Michaud said.

Without much enforcement and with many exceptions Michaud hopes the message is what gets through.

“Why can't we think about reducing our idling and realize those benefits,” Michaud said.

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