No idling: Outremont motorists will have to turn off engine after 10 seconds

"Send a very strong message," says Outremont borough mayor Laurent Desbois, as a new bylaw requires drivers of gas-fueled cars to turn off their engines after 10 seconds to avoid idling or face heavy fines. Swidda Rassy reports.

By The Canadian Press

Outremont has announced it will adopt a new regulation prohibiting leaving the engine of a stationary gas-powered vehicle on for more than 10 seconds.

The new regulations aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and will apply when the outside temperature is between zero and 25 degrees Celsius.

“Through this innovative measure, the strictest of its kind in Quebec, I wish to send a strong message that every gesture counts in order to limit our ecological footprint,” said Outremont borough mayor Laurent Desbois.

“We wanted to send a very strong message by putting a 10-second limit so that people hear about it, understand it, and just push the button and just cut the engine.”

Close up of Outremont City hall on Côte-Sainte-Catherine St. taken Feb. 7, the day after a new bylaw on idling vehicles was adopted. (Erin Seize, City News Image)

The previous regulation allowed motorists to leave the engine of a vehicle running for a maximum of three minutes.

In a press release published Monday, Ensemble Montréal made it clear that “contrary to popular belief, the literature confirms that beyond 10 seconds, turning off and then restarting the engine of a vehicle does not consume more fuel than letting it idle.”

Desbois adding, “The 10-second limit is based on [Natural Resources Canada] has established that after 10 seconds, you should cut your engine because it should save gas and save emissions. In France and Italy, you also have the recommendations for that 10-second limit.”

The new regulation should be adopted during the district council meeting Tuesday and would come into force in the coming days.

The new 10-second limit is the strictest of its kind in Quebec. First-time offenders could be fined between $150 and $350, while repeat offenders might face penalties of up to $600. Desbois says the focus will be on certain areas of the neighbourhood.

“Cars idling around schools, trucks, construction, renovation, delivery trucks. Those are kind of the targets here. We’re not going to be chasing people down their private poverty for that,” said Desbois.

“Obviously there will be a grace period and we will be warning people. Our goal is not to give fines, that’s definitely not the goal. The goal is to stop your engines after 10 seconds.”

Outremont, located on the north slope of Mount Royal, is one of the 19 boroughs of the City of Montreal.

Exhaust pipe of a gas powered vehicle idling. Taken on Feb. 7, the day after a new bylaw on idling vehicles was adopted. (Erin Seize, City News Image)

–This report by La Presse Canadienne was translated by CityNews

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