Idling for more than one minute or three minutes in colder weather is prohibited under the initiative
City staff and elected officials in Charlottetown have been told to put a stop to needless car idling.
The city passed new anti-idling legislation that will apply to all vehicles operated by the city, from cars to heavy equipment.
Idling for more than one minute – or three minutes in colder weather – will be outlawed under the new rules.
The aim, according to Ramona Doyle, the city’s manager of environment and sustainability, is to reduce emissions caused by idling.
“There are a number of situations when idling occurs that aren’t essential,” she added, giving the example of letting a city car run while waiting for employees or supplies.
Doyle stated that the city should be an example of good behaviour.
Environmental advantages are now better appreciated
Thanks to innovations like automobiles that automatically cease running at stop signs or stop lights, the concept of wasteful idling is becoming better known and accepted, according to Doyle.
“We’re still hearing about how important it is to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.”
Transportation is the major source of emissions in P.E.I., according to Doyle.
She stated, “We really need to dig into that transportation sector.”
We need to think about this habit more
The city council’s environment and sustainability committee is chaired by Mitchell Tweel.
He claims that the anti-idling strategy will save money and the environment in the long run.
He explained that it’s all about “shifting the perspective.”
According to Doyle, the city will be able to track idling time thanks to GPS systems placed in all city cars.
That will help determine whether the regulation, “and the method that we take to enforce it,” leads to a reduction in idling over time, she said.
It is also hoped that it will result in lower gasoline expenses.
Last year, the city consumed about 22,000 gigajoules of energy, costing $651,000.
A gigajoule is about equivalent to 26 litres. “Even if we can make a small reduction in that, it makes a significant difference,” Doyle said.