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Emissions coming out of a car

The City of Waterloo's anti-idling by-law (no. 2009-077) limits unnecessary idling of vehicles to three minutes or less.

Idling is harmful to your health, our environment and your engine.

If you stop your car for more than 10 seconds, the best way to reduce air pollution, conserve fuel and protect your engine is to turn it off. Restarting your vehicle has little impact on your engine components, such as the battery and starter motor. If you idle for more than 10 seconds, you will use more fuel than if you turn your vehicle off and restart it.

There are some exceptions to this by-law:

  • Emergency vehicles and other machinery engaged in operational activities
  • Transit vehicles at a layover when someone is on board
  • Vehicles caught in traffic or at a red light
  • When the temperature outside is more than 27 C (80.6 F) or less than 5 C (41 F), if there is someone in the vehicle


The fine for idling your car for more than three minutes is $75.

If you believe someone is violating the idling by-law and would like to file a complaint, please contact us online or by calling 519-747-8785.