Kitchener now a no-idle zone
KITCHENER -- The City of Kitchener has become a no-idle zone.
A new bylaw will stop people from leaving their engines running when they're not driving.
Anyone idling for more than three minutes could face a $75 fine.
School zones are considered idling hotspots by the city, since many cars pick up passengers with the engine running.
"A warm car is nice to have, but it's not a necessity," said Gloria MacNeil, director of enforcement with the City of Kitchener. "I think we've gotten into bad habits."
The hope is to get closer to the city's goal of reaching an 80 per cent reduction in community level greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
"With school children and tiny lungs, I think that's an area we definitely want to focus on," MacNeil said.
The bylaw will be enforced across the city, with an exception for extreme weather. That includes temperatures inside a vehicle higher than 27 degrees Celsius or below -5 C.
There are also exceptions for emergency vehicles, transit vehicles, and municipal officials.
However, drive-thrus aren't exempt.
"It's something we're open to as we work through the initial rollout of this bylaw," MacNeil.
The ticket can be handed out on private or public property.
Officials with the city said it's more about education than enforcement. Anti-idling bylaws have been in place in neighbouring communities for years. Waterloo's bylaw officials said they give out very few tickets every year. Cambridge officials have fined 18 people since 2011. The last ticket was issued in 2016.