Stop Your Engines!
Air pollution and its health effects continue to be of significant concern. In 2008, air pollution contributed to 9,500 early deaths and over 16,000 hospital admissions in Ontario. Idling vehicles unnecessarily contribute to our air pollution problems and the solution is so simple – turn the key on wasteful idling by not idling.
Clean Air Partnership coordinated Idle-Free campaigns with Natural Resources Canada and municipal members of the GTA Clean Air Council in June 2003 and June 2005. Since then GTA Clean Air Council member jurisdictions have continued to adopt idle-free bylaws and deliver Idle-Free education campaigns. These campaigns have helped increase awareness of the health and environmental impacts of vehicle idling.
Every year in the GTA:
Why stop idling?
Idling adds more than 200,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases and air pollutants to the atmosphere.
Idling wastes 90 million litres of fuel worth over $70 million.
Vehicle emissions contribute to health problems, such as asthma and heart disease.
Idling engines create unnecessary air pollution, which contributes to smog and climate change.
Excessive idling fouls spark plugs and increases engine wear.
We would need to plant 30 million trees to absorb the air pollution resulting from GTA drivers idling 5 minutes a day for one year.
What You Can Do
Put an end to idling:
1. Reduce warm-up idling.
In most conditions, start driving your vehicle after no more than 30 seconds of idling.
Most cars and trucks are designed to warm up while driving at a moderate speed.
2. Turn it off after 10 seconds.
Turn off your engine if you are going to be stopped for more than 10 seconds, except
in traffic. Idling for more than 10 seconds uses more fuel than restarting your engine.
What Others Are Doing
Since 1998, the GTA has seen an increasing number of anti-idling by-laws that are intended to reduce air pollution. Toronto introduced their by-law in 1998, Oakville in 2002, Whitchurch-Stouffville in 2003, Burlington in 2004, and Vaughan in 2004.
As of 2009 the following are some of the other municipalities in Ontario that have idling control by-laws. They include: Ajax, Collingwood, Guelph, Gravenhurst, Huntsville, Kingston, London, Markham, Mississauga, Newmarket, Niagara Falls, Oakville, Orillia, Oshawa, Pickering, St. Catharines, Stratford, Wasaga Beach, Windsor and Woodstock.
Find out more about all the Idle-Free initiatives taking place across Canada by visiting NRCan’s Idle-Free Zone
GTA Idle-Free campaigns have been generously funded by Natural Resources Canada and the GTA-Clean Air Council.
Participating Municipalities (Click to see what they are doing)