Don’t sit idly by: One-minute idling reduction bylaw now in effect in Kelowna

August 11, 2022

News Release

Joining 30 other BC municipalities with similar regulations, the City of Kelowna's new bylaw to reduce unnecessary idling and improve air quality is now in effect. Starting Monday, July 25th, 2022, residents and visitors are no longer permitted to idle for more than one minute while within City of Kelowna boundaries.

This bylaw does not apply to motor vehicles stuck in traffic and several other exceptions.

Transportation is the largest contributor to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions within Kelowna. Vehicle emissions also directly contribute harmful emissions into the city’s air supply. Idling control is an action to reduce GHG emissions and improve air quality from the transportation sector. Reducing unnecessary idling is identified as a recommended action in Kelowna’s Community Climate Action Plan and the Central Okanagan Clean Air Strategy.

“Poor air quality plays a vital role in our health and happiness – we’ve all experienced what poor air quality looks and feels like during wildfire season,” said Nancy Mora Castro, Regional Air Quality Coordinator, City of Kelowna. “We need to consider ways 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.”

While this program will embrace education-first principles, repeat offenders may incur fines up to $150 for each idling infraction, which is delivered through a complaint-based system much like the majority of the City’s bylaws. A six-month grace period and educational campaign will be the focus until January 2023.

While this bylaw is specific to the City of Kelowna, the air has no boundaries and actions that improve air quality should be embraced regionally and beyond.

To learn how much money and fuel you and your family can save by stop idling, how to report an idling vehicle, and more information, please visit Kelowna.ca/airquality