The Town of Aurora has an Anti-Idling policy that limits idling to five minutes.

But why not take it one step further and turn your vehicle off if you are going to be stopped for more than 30 seconds? This will help in our goal to reduce 80% of Aurora’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

What is Idling?

Idling is running a vehicle's engine when the vehicle is not in motion. It commonly occurs  when drivers are stopped at a red light, waiting while parked outside a business or residence, or otherwise stationary with the engine running. If you keep your engine on while you wait to pick someone up, you are idling.

About the Policy

The Policy establishes general guidance on limiting unnecessary idling of vehicles and equipment within the Town of Aurora. The Policy aligns with existing Town By-laws limiting vehicle idling by the public, specifically the Noise By-law (By-law Number 4787-06P). Two exemptions to the idling limit are when idling is essential for onboard equipment like workshops or emergency equipment or due to extreme weather conditions.

Non-compliance of the Anti-Idling Policy may lead to penalties, if found to be in violation of the Noise By-law, at the discretion of the Town’s By-law Officer.

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Facts on Idling

1. A warm vehicle
Warming up the vehicle means warming up your tires, transmission, wheel bearings and other moving parts. Most of these parts don't begin to warm up until you drive the vehicle.
2. 10 seconds
Any more than ten seconds of idling uses more fuel than is required to restart the engine. However, the break-even time to offset any potential incremental maintenance costs to the starter or battery is under 60 seconds.
3. Idling can cost you
For the average vehicle with a 3-litre engine, every 10 minutes of idling costs over one quarter of a litre (over 1 cup) in wasted fuel. 
4. Warming 
Contrary to popular belief, excessive idling is not an effective way to warm up your vehicle, even in cold weather. The best way to warm it up is to drive it. 
5. Block heaters
Block heaters help reduce the impact of cold starts – and reduce idling times on cold winter days. 
6. Plugged in
Vehicles only require to be plugged into a block heater for around two hours at a time
7. Vehicle engine
A poorly-tuned engine uses up to 15 percent more energy when idling than a well-tuned engine. 
8. How else we idle
Warming up a vehicle in the winter and cooling it down in the summer are the most common reasons given for idling! Surveys show that Canadians also idle while waiting for passengers, stopping at railroad crossings, waiting to park, running quick errands, sitting in drive-through lanes and when stopping to talk to an acquaintance or friend.

What You Can Do

  1. Turn off the engine if the vehicle is going to be parked for more than 30 seconds (except in traffic.)
  2. Drive the vehicle to warm it up, rather than idling the engine (usually no more than two to three minutes of idling is needed on cold winter days.)
  3. Use remote car starters wisely to avoid excessively long warm-ups.
  4. Use a block heater on cold winter days to warm the engine before starting it (ideally, the block heater should be turned on by an automatic timer 2 hours before leaving.).
  5. Spread the word to your family and friends. Telling your family and friends about the benefits of reduced idling will help them save money and help protect the environment too.

COVID-19: During a pickup of a package or food order, please turn your engine off. The parking and idling policy is still in effect. Five minute of unnecessary idling could result in a fine.

Businesses and Schools Anti Idling Education

The Town of Aurora wants to support your school or business’s efforts in reducing idling at your locations. We have provided some resources on idling awareness below. These campaigns remind customers, parents and caregivers to turn their engines off while waiting to pick up students or picking up deliveries. Contact staff at 905-727-3123 ext. 7382 or via email if you have any questions.

Report Excessive Idling

Call the Bylaw Services Department at 905-727-3123 ext. 4240 or email Bylaw Services

Monday to Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Please note that for any unnecessary idling, officers need to observe the idling for five minutes.

More Resources on Idling