A new bylaw aimed at reducing vehicle idling and in turn improving air quality, is now in effect within the City of Kelowna.
The bylaw means people are no longer permitted to idle their vehicles for more than a minute in the city.
Kelowna is now one of 30 municipalities within the province with similar bylaws on the books.
There are exceptions to the bylaw, including vehicles stuck in traffic and those emitting zero emissions.
The bylaw is the latest effort by the city to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles.
The city says vehicles directly contribute to harmful emissions into the city's air supply. Reducing idling will help reduce emissions and improve air quality from the transportation sector.
“Poor air quality plays a vital role in our health and happiness – we’ve all experienced what poor air quality looks and feels like during wildfire season,” said Nancy Mora Castro, regional air quality co-ordinator.
“We need to consider ways to encourage behaviour change around unnecessary idling. Having a bylaw that supports this, is one way to get drivers to think about their idling habits.”
While the bylaw is now in effect, a six-month grace period and educational campaign will be rolled out through January of next year.
The city says once enforcement action does begin, repeat offenders could face fines up to $150.
Enforcement of the idling bylaw is complaint-based, much like most other city bylaws.