The Watchdog

Yes, Missouri has rules to limit the idling of certain vehicles

Updated: 2013-10-23T04:08:43Z

The problem

Ben Wornall lives in Lenexa but works in downtown Kansas City.

Recently, he saw a number of city trucks idling all day while workers repaired a sidewalk in the 2100 block of Grand Boulevard

He’d like to know if Missouri has any rules against idling cars.

The answer

In this area (Jackson, Clay and Platte counties), Missouri has set limits on idling for heavy-duty diesel vehicles in order to reduce emissions, according to the American Transportation Research Institute. It’s generally five minutes per hour, but 30 minutes per hour when the trucks are being loaded or unloaded. The rule does not apply to passenger vehicles, and there are other exceptions as well.

Kansas City officials said that if city crews are leaving their vehicles idling, they’re doing it against the rules.

The area superintendent has been in contact with the work crews to remind them not to leave their vehicles idling, according to Sean Demory, spokesman for Kansas City Public Works.

“We know this is significant, and it is not a standard practice for city crews,” Demory said.

The Watchdog says idling is against newsroom policy, too.

Do you have a problem or a question about a public issue? Write to the Watchdog, The Kansas City Star, Newsroom, 1729 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, MO 64108, or send email to Include your name, phone number and city of residence.

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