The City of Richmond could be on the verge of creating a bylaw to prevent drivers idling for more than three minutes.
A fine of up to $100 will be slapped on offending motorists if the new law wins approval after being presented to city councils community safety committee on Tuesday.
The bylaw is being considered in a bid to increase air quality in the city and create less of a carbon footprint by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
According to the report placed before councillors, drivers often idle their cars while running errands, waiting in queues and at pick-up and drop-off zones.
Most of the offending vehicles are: large transports; dump trucks; taxis and charter buses, wrote the citys bylaws manager, Wayne Mercer, in his report.
The proposed three-minute cut-off, however, would not apply if the vehicle is stopped within queued traffic or if in the process of dropping off/picking up passengers.
Almost a quarter of all B.C. municipalities already have such a bylaw, including Vancouver, West Vancouver, North Vancouver, Surrey and Langley Township.
Unnecessary vehicle idling is generally considered to be a negative behaviour that contributes to atmospheric destabilization and significantly degrades air quality, wrote Mercer.
there is merit in implementing an anti-idling bylaw in Richmond and (the report) concludes that this would aid existing momentum in place through current educational-based initiatives.
According to the federal government, motorists idle their vehicles an average of five to ten minutes per day.
And, despite common belief, Natural Resources Canada states that modern engines dont need more than 30 seconds of warming time after being started, even in the depths of winter.
In fact, excessive idling can, according to some experts actually damage the vehicles engine over time.
If adopted by council, the bylaw would be supported by a public education campaign and a dedicated signage program.