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New 1-minute idling bylaw goes into effect in Kelowna

The City of Kelowna’s new idling bylaw is now in effect.

Residents and visitors are no longer permitted to idle for more than one minute while within city boundaries.

The bylaw, put in place in an effort to reduce unnecessary idling and improve air quality, does not apply to motor vehicles stuck in traffic. The City noted there are several other exceptions, which you can learn about here.

It’s meant to be an education-first program, with a six-month grace period and education campaign being the focus until January 2023, but repeat offenders could incur fines up to $150 for each idling infraction.

<who>Photo Credit: 123rf

According to the City, transportation is the largest contributor to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Kelowna and vehicle emissions directly contribute harm to the city’s air supply.

Idling control is an action to reduce GHG emissions and improve air quality in the transportation.

The effort to reduce unnecessary idling is recommended in Kelowna’s Community Climate Action Plan and the Central Okanagan Clean Air Strategy.

“Poor air quality plays a vital role in our health and happiness – we’ve all experienced what poor air quality looks and feels like during wildfire season,” said Nancy Mora Castro, regional air quality coordinator with the City of Kelowna.

“We need to consider ways to encourage behaviour change around unnecessary idling. Having a bylaw that supports this is one way to get drivers to think about their idling habits.”

Like most bylaws, infractions will be delivered through a complaint-based system from the public.

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