Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Citizen’s arrayest!

In one of my favorite episodes of “The Andy Griffith Show,” Gomer is ticketed by the always overzealous Mayberry Sheriff’s Deputy Barney Fife.

Upset about it, Gomer follows Barney around, waiting for him to break the law.

Inevitably, the end of the show includes Gomer chasing Barney’s patrol car after an illegal U-turn, with Gomer shouting “Citizen’s arrest!” as only Gomer could.

Fortunately, a trucker used a handy smartphone this week to document a very interesting encounter in California. The clip illustrates the disconnect between enforcement against trucks and enforcement of RVs, cars and especially the long arm of the law.

This week, Bernard Downes was ticketed by a uniformed enforcement officer of the California Air Resources Board.

Downes had just started his truck up at a fast food restaurant near the idling enforcement hotbed of Ontario, CA. After a few hours off, his air tanks were empty so he wanted full pressure before leaving.

The next thing Bernard knew, what appeared to be a uniformed police officer knocked on the truck window, and the officer told him he’d been violating the state’s five-minute idling restriction.

After taking Bernard’s truck information and CDL, the officer retired back to his state-owned vehicle (a Lone Sheriff hue of white, naturally), and filled out a citation. With the windows up and air conditioning blasting, Bernard said the officer was idling his car the entire time.

Downes is a company driver originally from Australia who now lives in Amarillo, TX. I’ll let the video do the talking.


Downes was issued a $300 ticket for idling for nine minutes.

“How did he feel he has the right to break his own damn law?” Downes told me Wednesday. “He was strutting around like he was Rambo. He said, ‘How are you going to talk to me?’”

Ironically, his company truck even features an APU.

“I was just idling to get some air in my truck,” he said.

Bernard is considering challenging the citation in court.

“I’m just trying to make the point that this is a double standard you’ve got going on here,” Bernard said. “You have this car, emitting carbons in the air, and writing tickets to somebody who allegedly broke the law by four minutes. If you’re really serious about pollution, no vehicle should be idling and emitting carbon into the air – including CARB officer vehicles.”


  1. It is pretty simple to understand...We truckers are nothing but a source of revenue. The law enforcement agencies are full of hypocrites who care nothing for safety or clean air, they simply want the money. Has a law been passed restricting idling against cars or rv's? No.

    Here in Oklahoma the politicians have openly admitted they are going to specifically increase commercial vehicle enforcement because they see it as a way to increase revenue. Kind of makes it hard to take safety seriously when you know that no matter what you do you are going to end up getting screwed.

    Good luck fighting that ticket, I hope it is successfully fought. Someone needs to stand up and say enough is enough.

  2. C.A.R.B. is a joke in and of itself and is well documented with proof.
    I WOULD FIGHT SUCH CITATION as the wording of the "law or rule" is insanity alone and NO TRUCK can move without aired up tanks of at least 70-90psi which often takes more than a mere 5 minutes.

    ANY A.P.U. isn't designed to supply air and never shall such design be offered or the Units will have to be substantially larger effectively creating more problems.

    The WAR AGAINST TRUCKING is well in place and will only result in The DEATH OF TRUCKING.

  3. One only needs to think back in time when the state of Pa. was taken to court by OOIDA for an illegal per axle tax that discriminated against foreign truckers. The then governor of the state maid a public statement. ( WE need the money, so guest where it's going to come from?)From that came the famous KEYSTONE BRAKE CHECK.I beleave it was $45.00 for each out of adjustment brake, and believe me if you were stopped, at least one would be out. I was a one time victim.

  4. I would not go as far as to say the death of Trucking. I would agree if you had said the little trucker/ O.O. The elimination of the O.O. started a long long time ago. Be fore long there will be about 10 major trucking Companies, but OOIDA will live on. It has always had the interest of both driver and O.O. at heart. It is and always be the Union that you are not forced to join. It is even better than a Union in so many ways. As a company driver you will always need OOIDA. If you are not already a member, this is a good time to start. Trucking is here to stay.

  5. It's the double standard law all over, but we all know California. Case in point.....truckers will get ticketed for too dark window tint. In the summer this is a much needed asset in these trucks especially if you are running coast to coast. The heat alone will kill your a/c system having to work so hard just to get a little cool air in the cab. A law enforcement person will ticket a truck quickly for having too dark tint due to commercial restrictions as they call it. Plain truth of it is they are sitting there with their commercial vehicles windows blacked completely. At least with the trucks you can see in them where the "cops" cars windows are completely dark and can't be looked into from the outside. Anything that applies to a truck that can be should be applied to all commercial vehicles or none at all. Watch anywhere no matter what time of year it is. The cops cars will not be turned off for anything. Double standard at its best!

  6. Attacking the running of the enforcement officer's car is a waste of time, it will always fall on delft ears, because thier are too many legitimate reasons for the vehicle to stay running.Sure they could insall a system that would run evrey thing in the unit for a few hours if need be, same as these units that are on some big trucks. Always bare in mind, the crap rolls down hill.

  7. To law enforcement a big rig is a cash cow plain and simple

  8. how about running an inverter for accessories ie.fridge,fan,lap top ect while sitting on a restart.Idleing is nessesarry to keep the batteries charged every so often or the truck wont start when ready to pick up the next load

  9. that is why we need some one to represent the trucking the co mpany will not back a driver if they did a lot of this bull wouldn;t happen. trucking is nothing but a ticket . for any thing you do uot there . if we were to stop running . there wouldn;t be any paper to write trickets
    on. but we just continue supplying the states with revenue.

  10. 10-2, 10-4 to ALL participants.
    Correct, the DEATH OF TRUCKING is a severe claim and as walt65 stated saying such as i've posted is actually specific to Owner Operators of small companies who have been and will be forced out simply from too many useless new rules, mandates, requirements: NO parking here or there or on ANY ramp(s), NO idling anywhere for ANY reason, NO TRUCKS on this road, that road, NO stopping, NO future.

    The ONLY problem with "someone standing up" is there appears to be the "someone" is skeered of something and has left the scene yet whimpers in the background.
    Getting 10 drivers to agree on anything AT THE SAME TIME is fruitless at best.
    I'll suppose though that ENOUGH DRIVERS getting idling awards may eventually voice their concerns through O.O.I.D.A., yet we'll see if such occurs.


  11. To begin with I want to make it clear that I'm no fan of C.A.R.B. Their chairmen,Mary D. Nichols, has done more to put us in the dire financial straits that we find ourselves than practically anyone else. That being said I feel that I must point out a fundamental flaw in the charge of a double standard...

    The Ontario office of C.A.R.B.has five enforcement vehicles...they are all powered by hydrogen!

    Again, I'm not defending these bastards. For those interested in abolishing this agency I'd like to direct you here:

    Along with John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou of 640AM KFI in Los Angeles and Dr. Bill Wattenburg of AM810 KGO in San Francisco we can prevail over this fascist organization but it will take more than just bitching about it.

    Here is a good start:

    Register to vote if you haven't already and help get this on the Nov. ballot...

  12. I agree that C.A.R.B. is just a revenue generator for CA. but, in the 4 and a half years that I drove, even in some of the shitest equipment out there, I could fill my tanks in less than five minutes. Next time, lean on the pedal and it will fill them up faster. Sorry you got the ticket, but it's part of the game you play when trucking.

  13. It takes my truck far much longer than 5 minutes to reach an operating temp. A big diesel should not be put under load without showing a reading on the water temp gauge - that's wise advice older than CARB.
    They're not buying me a $15,000 in-frame any more than I'm ever hauling freight into CA. I got sick of CA's ridiculous revenue tactics over 10 years ago, packed up my family and moved to the US. CA is another country completely, and a bad example of how to be broke with the 5th largest economy in the world. Good riddance, and let them carry their freight in their "courier bags", while sipping a frekkin latte.

  14. The comments posted here are a perfect example of why this will continue to happen. Some say it's a waste of time to do anything about it and some don't. The trucking industry as a whole has never been able to find common ground on any one single matter. Nobody wants to stand together to fight any matter at hand, and the excuse is always the same "I can't afford it". For those that say they can't afford it, then please get out of the industry now whie you still can. Alot of times if you want something to change for the better in the longrun then you need to make a sacrifice in the short term.

  15. Ca. is broke because of the free loaders. These free loaders are about to brake the entire country.If a bank loaned out more than it took in, it is over. There is an old saying," I don't mine you ridding the wagon, but don't drag your feet" We not only take care of our needy, we try to take care of the world's needy. Something has to give. People work and pay tax, but when they need help, it's not there, it's all going to those that contrubute nothing.

  16. Driver show the whole viedo not 42 seconds if takes more than 5 min to build air pressure up to run your truck you mush have a air leak fix it

  17. There is a real simple solution for CARB; refuse to haul freight into California. Treat the California border like it was a foreign country and drop freight at the border.


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