Chilliwack, British Columbia Idle-Free Policy

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Chilliwack, Canada

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Type: Policy

Status: Adopted in September 2004

Source File: http://www.gov.chilliwack.bc.ca/main/page.cfm?id=941

Description:

Spare Our Air! Reduce Vehicle Idling!
The City of Chilliwack is taking action to make our community healthier and greener!

In order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and smog causing pollutants, the City has launched an "anti-idling" campaign. This campaign involves both policy and public education components. In September 2004, City Council adopted a policy that will eliminate all unnecessary vehicle idling within municipal fleets. You can see our trucks proudly displaying a "Spare Our Air" decal on the window.

Why Idling is a Problem
Most Canadians idle their vehicle for 5-10 minutes a day. Here are the main reasons why idling is a big problem:

Idling produces pollution. Idling creates unnecessary pollution that is released into our environment, contributing to smog and poor air quality.

Idling affects our health. Health Canada estimates that over 5,000 Canadians die prematurely each year due to air pollution. Children, the elderly, and those with respiratory problems are most sensitive to poor air quality.

Idling affects our environment. The extra pollution created by idling contributes to climate change - putting Canada’s forests and water supplies at risk, and endangering plant and animal species.

Idling wastes fuel and money. Idling a vehicle gets you 0.0 kilometres per litre fuel economy. Ten minutes of idling a day wastes an average of 100 litres of fuel a year.

Ready To Do Your Part? Spare Our Air!
You can help improve air quality and use energy more wisely by turning off your engine when your vehicle is parked.

Here are 5 simple steps to reduce needless idling:

1. Reduce warm-up idling — start driving after no more than 30 seconds of idling, assuming your vehicle’s windows are clear. Excessive idling is not good for your engine.

2. Turn it off after 10 seconds — turn your engine off if you are going to be stopped for more than 10 seconds, except in traffic.

3. Minimize use of remote car starters — these devices encourage you to start your vehicle before you are ready to leave, which means wasteful idling.

4. Use a block heater — in temperatures below 0ºC, use this device to warm up the engine before starting your vehicle. This will improve fuel efficiency and reduce exhaust emissions.

5. Spread the word — talk to your family, friends and neighbours about the benefits of reduced idling. Encourage them to join you in saving money, protecting the environment and contributing to a healthier community.

Myths About Idling
Many Canadians still believe several myths concerning idling their vehicles. Research by government and vehicle manufacturers has debunked three common myths. Below are the myths and the corresponding realities.

Idling Myth #1: The engine should be warmed up for long periods before driving.

Reality: Idling is not an effective way to warm up your vehicle, even in cold weather. The best way to do this is to drive the vehicle. With today’s modern engines, you need no more than 30 seconds of idling before starting to drive.

Idling Myth #2: Idling is good for your engine.

Reality: Excessive idling can actually damage your engine’s components, including cylinders, spark plugs and exhaust system.

Idling Myth #3: Shutting off and restarting your engine is hard on the engine and uses more gas than if you leave it running.

Reality: Frequent restarting has little impact on engine components such as the battery and starter motor. More than 10 seconds of idling uses more fuel than restarting the engine.

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