Idling Control (By-law No. 2007-266)


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City Archives
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Ottawa, Ontario
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Ottawa, Ontario
Telephone: 613-580-2940

A by-law of the City of Ottawa to control the idling of vehicles.

The Council of the City of Ottawa enacts as follows:

  • Prohibits drivers from idling their vehicles for more than three minutes in a given 60-minute period, when the temperature is between 5°C and 27°C (including the humidex calculation and wind chill value as determined by Environment Canada).
  • Idling is allowed during extreme outdoor temperatures to ensure that an occupied vehicle’s interior can be heated or cooled.
  • Exceptions are provided for a number of different vehicles, including:
    • Emergency vehicles
    • Transit buses and vehicles, when picking up and discharging passengers
    • Farm vehicles
    • Vehicles required to remain motionless because of an emergency, traffic, weather condition or mechanical problem, over which the driver has no control.

In this by-law,

idle” means the operation of the engine of a vehicle while the vehicle is not in motion and not being used to operate auxiliary equipment that is essential to the basic function of the vehicle, and “idling” has a corresponding meaning;

mobile workshop” means,

  1. a vehicle containing equipment that must be operated in association with the vehicle; or
  2. a vehicle serving as a facility for taking measurements or making observations which is operated by or on behalf of a municipal utility or a police, fire or ambulance service vehicle;

normal farm practice” means a practice that,

  1. is conducted in a manner consistent with proper and acceptable customs and standards as established and followed by similar agricultural operations under similar circumstances; or
  2. makes use of innovative technology in a manner consistent with proper advanced farm management practices;

private transit vehicles” means tour buses, school buses and motor coaches;

vehicle” means a motor vehicle, trailer, traction engine, farm tractor or road building machine as defined in the Highway Traffic Act and any vehicle drawn, propelled or driven by any kind of non-muscular power but does not include cars of electric or diesel electric railways running on rails.

Section 2

No person shall cause or permit a vehicle to idle for more than three (3) consecutive minutes in a sixty (60) minute period.

Section 3

Section 2 shall not apply to,

  1. vehicles assisting in an emergency activity;
  2. mobile workshops while they are in the course of being used for their basic function;
  3. vehicles where idling is required to repair the vehicle or prepare it for service;
  4. armoured vehicles where a person remains inside the vehicle while guarding the contents of the vehicle or while the vehicle is being loaded or unloaded;
  5. vehicles required to remain motionless because of any emergency, traffic, weather condition or mechanical difficulty over which the person driving the vehicle has no control;
  6. vehicles engaged in a parade or race or any other event authorized by Council;
  7. private transit vehicles while passengers are embarking or disembarking en route or in terminals;
  8. vehicles transporting a person where a medical doctor certifies in writing that for medical reasons a person in the vehicle requires that temperature or humidity be maintained within a certain range;
  9. occupied vehicles when the temperature outside the vehicle is greater than twenty-seven degrees Celsius (27°C) including the humidex calculation or less than five degrees Celsius (5°C) including the windchill value as determined by the Environment Canada temperature readings;
  10. vehicles engaged in providing City services which vehicles shall be subject to the City’s Vehicle and Equipment Idling Policy dated June 2002, Number FS01;
  11. vehicles engaged in a normal farm practice; or
  12. vehicles, including hybrid vehicles, that eliminate the emission of greenhouse gases and criteria air contaminants during the idling phase of operation.

The Director of By-law and Regulatory Services is responsible for the administration of this by-law, including the enforcement thereof.

Section 5

  1. Every person who contravenes any of the provisions of this by-law is guilty of an offence.
  2. Every person who is convicted of an offence under this by-law is liable to a fine as provided for in the Provincial Offences Act, R.S.O 1990, Chapter p. 33, as amended.

Section 6

When a person has been convicted of an offence under this by-law,

  1. the Ontario Court of Justice, or
  2. any court of competent jurisdiction thereafter may, in addition to any other penalty imposed on the person convicted, make an order prohibiting the continuation or repetition of the offence by the person convicted.

  1. In this by-law,
    1. words importing the singular number only include more persons, parties or things of the same kind than one (1) and the converse; and
    2. a word interpreted in the singular number has a corresponding meaning when used in the plural.
  2. If a court of competent jurisdiction declares any provision or part of a provision of this bylaw to be invalid or of no force and effect, it is the intention of the Council in enacting this by-law that each and every provision of this by-law be applied and enforced in accordance with its terms to the extent possible according to law.

This by-law shall come into force and take effect on September 1, 2007.

This by-law may be referred to as the “Idling Control By-law”.

ENACTED AND PASSED this 13th day of June, 2007.