Vernon considers anti-idling law

Letting your vehicle continuously run and spew chemicals into the atmosphere could become an offense in Vernon.

Letting your vehicle continuously run and spew chemicals into the atmosphere could become an offense in Vernon.

Council has approved a draft anti-idling bylaw and it would apply to vehicles operating while sitting for more than three minutes.

“It’s an environmental issue,” said Coun. Catherine Lord of vehicles running when sitting in front of a home, store or school.

If the bylaw comes into force in 2014, the penalty for idling could range from $250 to $10,000.

“Reductions in vehicle emissions benefit the community through air quality improvements,” said Clint Kanester, bylaw enforcement manager, in a report.

“Given the frequent problems that occur in the valley bottom due to temperature inversions, lack of air movement, etc., a reduction in levels of emissions through bylaw initiatives would be an asset.”

However, Kanester admits a bylaw will not be popular with those who idle vehicles to warm them up or where a passenger has been left inside the running vehicle.

A component of the bylaw will include signage to encourage compliance.

“We need a public awareness campaign on this,” said Lord.