Medical officer wants idling limited to 10 seconds – Toronto


Toronto’s Board of Health has passed a proposal from the city’s medical officer of health that aims to limit the time vehicles can idle to just 10 seconds.

A feasibility study will be conducted after Dr. David McKeown’s initiative received support by board members on Thursday.

Under Toronto’s current anti-idling bylaw, drivers in vehicles that are running for more than three minutes can be ticketed. The fine for the infraction is $125.

McKeown says more needs to be done to clean the air because figures show pollution kills 1,700 residents in Toronto every year.

Harmful emissions from idling vehicles contribute to the deaths, he says.

Health officials say cutting down on unnecessary idling will save people money on gas, which may change some drivers’ attitudes because fuel prices continue to rise.

McKeown says city workers who drive Toronto’s fleet of vehicles already abide by the 10-second rule. He says officers will have a much easier time enforcing his proposed bylaw.

“It’s a lot easier for an enforcement officer to tell when you’ve been idling the vehicle for 10 seconds than to wait around to see if you’ve idled for three minutes,” McKeown said.

The Board of Health is also asking the provincial and federal governments to look into making it mandatory to put devices in vehicles that would automatically shut off the engines if idled too long.

With a report from CTV Toronto’s Naomi Parness

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