New Colorado law provides local authority to set idling rules

May 13, 2024

Keith Goble


A new Colorado law revises the state’s idling rules.

State law sets a uniform idling standard that prohibits any vehicle from idling for more than five minutes within any 60-minute period. Certain exceptions apply.

Local governments have been prohibited from enacting an idling resolution or ordinance that is more stringent than the state idling standard.

Gov. Jared Polis has signed into law a bill to authorize a local government to enact an idling resolution or ordinance that is identical to, or more stringent than, the state idling standard. Any idling standard adopted by a local government must also include certain exemptions.

House lawmakers approved the bill on a 45-18 vote. The Senate followed suit by a 22-12 margin.

Pros and cons

Supporters have said the rule change is necessary to give local governments the ability to create idling solutions that work for them. The authorization will apply to vehicles with a gross weight of at least 14,000 pounds.

During Senate floor discussion, Sen. Lisa Cutter, D-Dakota Ridge, described HB1341 as a commonsense bill to address “environmental injustice.”

She said it is important to give local governments around the state the same ability to enact stricter idling rules as other regions across the country with “ground-level ozone pollution problems.”

Not everyone has welcomed the rule revision.

Sen. Byron Pelton, R-Sterling, said he had a problem with the local-control aspect of the legislation.

“If you are going to talk about local control, it needs to be local control at the local level all the way down. Not just what the state tells you,” Pelton said.

Sen. Perry Will, R-New Castle, pointed out that the idling revision could cause a problem for truck drivers.

“There are places in Colorado you turn the truck off and take your sleep, it’s not going to start in the morning,” Will said. “This bill just doesn’t work for commercial truckers.”

The new law takes effect in August. LL

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