Starting this weekend, there will be another reason to dread the sight of an approaching meter maid.
The city’s new idling control bylaw comes into effect tomorrow, meaning $100 fines for idling your vehicle for more than three minutes while the temperature is between 5 C and 27 C.
But a four-month education and awareness campaign that runs until Jan. 1 will help city drivers ease into a more Earth-friendly habit.
From September to Jan. 1, the city is focusing on education and issuing warnings only, said Susan Jones, director of bylaw and regulatory services with the City of Ottawa.
“It’s another duty that will be added onto parking enforcement officers who will be out there walking beats,” Jones said. “We’re going to have bylaw enforcement staff working in more congested areas of the city.”
If the driver is not in the vehicle, officers will put a brochure on the vehicle. If the driver is waiting in the idling vehicle, the officer will give them a brochure and chat with them directly, Jones said.
Maryse Vance, who was sitting in her still-running vehicle in the downtown area while waiting for a friend yesterday, said she wasn’t aware the bylaw was coming into effect, but said she wasn’t worried.
“I never idle my car for more than a minute,” said the Ottawa-area resident. “And I never leave it unattended while it’s running.”
The bylaw came from a recommendation by the city’s environmental advisory committee to the planning and environment committee.
Although Jan. 1 is the first day tickets will be handed out, it’s possible Mother Nature may delay the process.
“We won’t begin intensive enforcement until after temperatures warm up (after Jan. 1),” she said.