Idling vehicles in Port Moody contribute to climate change and negatively impact our local air quality. In order to reduce idling and help promote environmental sustainability, we implemented an anti-idling bylaw. The protection of air quality and reduction of transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions is part of our larger goal to create a greener and more sustainable community.

Anti-idling bylaw

The Port Moody anti-idling bylaw limits the amount of time drivers may allow their vehicle engines to idle while stationary. We will administer a $50 fee for any motor vehicle stopped on a city street and idling for more than three minutes during a 60-minute period.

Anti-idling bylaw exemptions

There are a few exemptions to the anti-idling bylaw. The following vehicles are exempt from the idling bylaw for safety and practical reasons:

  • a mobile workshop or vehicle being used as a mobile workshop
  • police, fire or ambulance vehicles while engaged in operational activities, including training, except when idling is for the convenience of the driver
  • vehicles assisting in an emergency activity
  • vehicles for which idling is required as part of a repair or regular maintenance check
  • 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
  • vehicles required to remain motionless because of an emergency, traffic or mechanical difficulties of which the driver has no control
  • vehicles engaged in a parade or race or any other event authorized by council
  • vehicles idling while passengers are embarking or disembarking
  • vehicles required to use heating or refrigeration systems powered by the motor or engine for the preservation of perishable cargo

Why is reducing idling important?

Idling leads to increased Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and is the principal greenhouse gas linked to climate change. Every litre of gasoline that is burned produces about 2.3 kg of CO2. The bottom line is, the more fuel you use‚ the more CO2 you produce. Excessive idling not only increases the amount of costly fuel that is burned, it also adds to vehicle costs from wear on:

  • spark plugs
  • the exhaust system
  • the engine

Idling can also affect health. Vehicle emissions can intensify numerous health problems, including:

  • lung disease
  • heart disease
  • asthma
  • emphysema

Idling myths

There are a few myths about idling that often cause people to idle rather than turn off their engine. Review the following myths about idling vehicles:

Turning your engine on and off wears it out, so it's better to idle

No. Ignitions in modern cars have eliminated this concern. Idling dirties your engine because of incomplete combustion, which actually increases wear and tear.

In cold temperatures I need to stay warm and keep my car engine warm

Not necessarily. It can take up to an hour for an engine to cool down and no more than 30 seconds to warm up an engine. Try turning off your engine, but keep the ignition on and the fan blowing to provide warm air.

Starting my engine creates more pollution than idling

No. Turning off an engine and restarting it after a minute or longer causes less pollution than idling.