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May 20, 2008
City mounts idle-free campaign -- encourages drivers to avoid idling vehicles
The City of Toronto is launching an anti-idling blitz, part of a campaign to educate the public about the impacts of vehicles left idling. The blitz is taking place today through to Friday.

"Not idling vehicles is a simple thing that all of us can do in order to reduce pollution in our City," said Glenn De Baeremaeker, chair of the City’s Public Works and Infrastructure Committee,. "In fact‚ if all drivers of light-duty vehicles in Canada avoided idling for just five minutes a day we would prevent more than 1.6 million tonnes of green house gases from entering the atmosphere. That's the equivalent of taking 490‚000 cars off the road."

Under the City’s anti-idling bylaw, most vehicles left idling for more than three minutes in a
60-minute period are subject to a fine of $100 plus a $25 provincial surcharge.

"With our by-law, we can write tickets, but we’d prefer to see people voluntarily turn off their engines and take a crucial step to improving the air that we breathe," added De Baeremaeker.
"But the purpose of this campaign is to educate the public about a small way that they can really make a difference. If you stop idling, you'll help keep the air clean and you'll save yourself some money."

The City, in partnership with the Toronto Police Service, is encouraging drivers to reduce their vehicle idling by reducing warm-up idling (just turn on the engine and go) and by turning off the engine when stopped for more than 10 seconds, except in traffic.

Restricting vehicles left idling is part of Toronto's overall action plan to reduce the emissions that contribute to climate change and poor air quality. The City also encourages residents to consider alternative methods of transportation such as walking, cycling and using public transit. The City’s Climate Change, Clean Air and Sustainable Energy Action Plan is available at

Reducing vehicle idling can help improve the air we breathe. The Air Quality Health Index is a new tool that measures air quality in terms of our health. Hourly readings and forecasts are available at

Toronto is Canada’s largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of more than 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. In the past three years Toronto has won more than 70 awards for quality and innovation in delivering public services. Toronto’s government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

Media contact:
Steve Johnston, Sr. Communications Coordinator, 416-392-4391,



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