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Vehicle Idling

Vehicle idling is an important environmental and economic issue due to the unnecessary emission of carbon dioxide, the primary contributor to the greenhouse gas effect. According to Natural Resources Canada, a typical vehicle produces approximately three times its weight in carbon dioxide each year. In addition, the burning of fossil fuels by vehicles creates chemicals that contribute to increasing smog in Metro Vancouver.

In October 2005, the City amended its Street & Traffic bylaw that limits the amount of time drivers may allow their vehicle engines to idle while stationary. The move is part of an environmental initiative to build a greener, more sustainable community.


Street and Traffic Bylaw

The amendment to the Street and Traffic Bylaw prohibits a motor vehicle stopped on a City Street from operating its engine for more than three (3) minutes during a 60-minute period. This bylaw was prepared based on the model bylaw adopted by the GVRD Board in 2004. The District of North Vancouver has endorsed a similar bylaw, and several other municipalities are considering similar regulations.

Penalty for motor vehicle operators who violate the vehicle idling component of the Street and Traffic Bylaw.

  • A basic penalty of $45
  • A penalty reduction to $35 if early payment is received
  • A penalty increase to $60 if late payment is received

Exemptions

There are various exemptions to this bylaw, which consider special cases where vehicle idling would be acceptable or unavoidable for safety or other practical reasons.

There are various exemptions to this bylaw, which consider special cases where vehicle idling would be acceptable or unavoidable for safety or other practical reasons.

The following vehicles are exempt from the idling bylaw:

  1. A mobile workshop, while such a vehicle is being used as a mobile workshop.
  2. Police, fire or ambulance vehicles while engaged in operational activities, including training activities, except where idling is substantially for the convenience of the operator of the vehicle.
  3. Vehicles assisting in an emergency activity.
  4. Vehicles for which idling is required as part of a repair or regular pre-check maintenance process.
  5. Armoured vehicles in which a person remains inside the vehicle while guarding the contents of the vehicle or while the vehicle is being loaded or unloaded.
  6. Vehicles required to remain motionless because of an emergency, traffic, or mechanical difficulties over which the driver has no control.
  7. Vehicles engaged in a parade or race or any other event authorized by the City of North Vancouver.
  8. Vehicles required to use heating or refrigeration systems powered by the motor or engine for the preservation of perishable cargo.
  9. Vehicles when the ambient temperature inside the vehicle is:
    1. More than twenty-seven degrees Celsius (27 C.); or
    2. Less than five degrees Celsius (5 C.)
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