Kitchener city council has passed a new anti-idling bylaw.
It requires drivers to turn off their engines after three consecutive minutes of idling, unless they are in traffic.
“Each of us has a role to play in building a healthier and more sustainable future for our City,” Councillor Margaret Johnson said in a release. “Idling creates unnecessary air pollution, emitting more than 40 hazardous pollutants into the air we breathe. Shutting off your engine, instead of idling, is one small step that has a big impact on our community, making it safer and more livable now and for future generations.”
There will be exceptions for extreme weather conditions when the ambient temperatures inside a vehicle are above 27 degrees Celsius or below 5 degrees Celsius. Other exceptions, as outlined by the city, include:
- Emergency vehicles while engaged in operational activities including training and patient transfer.
- Vehicles assisting in an emergency activity, including tow trucks while engaged in hooking up to or moving another vehicle.
- A vehicle containing equipment that must be operated in association with the vehicle.
- Mobile workshops, while using the equipment that must be operated in association with the vehicle.
- Vehicles where idling is required to repair the vehicle or prepare it for service.
- Armoured vehicles, where a person remains inside the vehicle while guarding the contents of the vehicle, or while the vehicle is being loaded or unloaded.
- Vehicles required to remain motionless due to an emergency, traffic, weather condition or mechanical difficulty over which the person driving the vehicle has no control.
- Vehicles engaged in a parade or race or any other event authorized by Council.
- Transit and passenger vehicles, while passengers are embarking or disembarking on route or at terminals.
- Commercial vehicles using heating or refrigeration systems powered by the motor or engine for the preservation of perishable cargo.
- Vehicles engaged in works undertaken for or on behalf of the Region, the City, or public utilities.
- Vehicles engaged in normal farm practice.
- Vehicles, including hybrid vehicles, that eliminate the emission of greenhouse gases and criteria air contaminants during the idling phase of operation.
The fine for idling has been set at $75.
Through its Community Climate Action Plan, the city hopes to achieve an 80 per cent reduction in community-level greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.