Idling for more than one minute is no longer allowed within city boundaries.
Kelowna’s anti-idling bylaw has started up, going into effect on July 25. The bylaw does not apply to vehicles stuck in traffic, among several other exceptions.
“Poor air quality plays a vital role in our health and happiness,” said Nancy Mora Castro, regional air coordinator. “We’ve all experienced what poor air quality looks and feels like during wildfire season.”
Castro noted transportation is the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions within Kelowna, and ways need to be considered 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.”
Reducing unnecessary idling is identified as a recommended action in Kelowna’s Community Climate Action Plan and the Central Okanagan Clean Air Strategy.
The bylaw includes a six-month education awareness component and grace period.
Actual enforcement will begin in January 2023, with repeat offenders facing fines of $150 for each infraction, delivered through a complaint-based system.