Anti-idling bylaw

This bylaw is a consolidated digital version of the official legal document. It is not an exact reproduction and is for information purposes only.

Contact 519-747-87771-866-785-3941 (TTY for deaf) or clerkinfo@waterloo.ca to get a copy of the official bylaw.


Bylaw number: 2009 - 077
Last passed by council: June 22, 2009


A bylaw to control idling of vehicles 

  1. Definitions 
  2. General Provisions 
  3. Administration and enforcement 
  4. Penalty 
  5. Severability 
  6. Effective date 
  7. Short title

Whereas section 8(1) of the Municipal Act, 2001. S.O. 2001, c. 25, as amended (the "Municipal Act, 2001"), provides that the powers of a municipality shall be interpreted broadly so as to confer broad authority on the municipality to enable the municipality to govern its affairs as it considers appropriate and to enhance the municipality's ability to respond to municipal issues;

And whereas section 11(1)(1) of the Municipal Act, 2001 provides that a municipality may pass bylaws respecting matters within the sphere of jurisdiction of highways, including parking and traffic on highways;

And whereas section 11(3)(8) of the Municipal Act, 2001 provides that a municipality may pass bylaws respecting matters within the sphere of jurisdiction of parking, except on highways;

And whereas section 425 of the Municipal Act, 2001 establishes that a municipality may pass bylaws providing that a person who contravenes a bylaw of the municipality is guilty of an offence;

And whereas section 428 of the Municipal Act, 2001 states that a bylaw may provide that, where a vehicle has been left parked, stopped or standing in contravention of a bylaw, the owner of the vehicle is guilty of an offence, even though the owner was not the driver of the vehicle at the time of the contravention of the bylaw, and is liable to the applicable fine unless, at the time of the offence, the vehicle was in the possession of another person without the owner's consent;

Now therefore the Council of the Corporation of the City of Waterloo enacts as follows: 


1.0 Definitions

In this bylaw:

"City" means The Corporation of the City of Waterloo;

"Council" means the Council of the City;

"idle" means the operation of the engine of a vehicle while the vehicle is not in motion and not being used to operate auxiliary equipment that is essential to the basic function of the vehicle and "idling" has a corresponding meaning;

"mobile workshop" means: 

(a) a vehicle containing equipment that must be operated in association with the vehicle, or,

(b) a vehicle serving as a facility for taking measurements or making observations which is operated by or on behalf of a public utility or a police, fire or ambulance service vehicle;

"Municipal Law Enforcement Officer" means a person appointed by the City under s. 15 of the Police Services Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. P.15, as amended;

"normal farm practice" means a practice that:

(a) is conducted in a manner consistent with proper and acceptable customs and standards as established and followed by similar agricultural operations under similar circumstances; or,

(b) makes use of innovative technology in a manner consistent with proper advanced farm management practices;

"Police Officer" means an employee of the Waterloo Regional Police Service who is appointed as a peace officer pursuant to the Police Services Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. P. 15;

"Region" means the Regional Municipality of Waterloo;

"transit vehicle" means Grand River Transit vehicles, Go Transit vehicles, tour buses, school buses and motor coaches;

"vehicle" means a motor vehicle, trailer, traction engine, farm tractor or road building machine as defined in the Highway Traffic Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, as amended, and any vehicle drawn, propelled or driven by any kind of non­muscular power but does not include cars of electric or diesel electric railways running on rails.


2.0 General Provisions

(a) No person shall cause or permit a vehicle to idle for more than three (3) consecutive minutes.

(b) Section 2(a) shall not apply to:

(i) police, fire or ambulance vehicles, while engaged in operational activities, including training activities;

(ii) vehicles assisting in an emergency activity;

(iii) mobile workshops, while using the equipment that must be operated in association with the vehicle;

(iv) vehicles where idling is required to repair the vehicle or to prepare it for service;

(v) armoured vehicles, where a person remains inside the vehicle while guarding the contents of the vehicle, or while the vehicle is being loaded or unloaded;

(vi) vehicles required to remain motionless due to an emergency, traffic, weather condition or mechanical difficulty over which the person driving the vehicle has no.control;

( vii) vehicles engaged in a parade or race or any other event authorized by Council;

(viii) transit and passenger vehicles, while passengers are embarking or disembarking en route or at terminals;

(ix) vehicles transporting a person where a medical doctor certifies in writing that for medical reasons a person in the vehicle requires that temperature or humidity be maintained within a certain range;

(x) occupied vehicles when the temperature outside the vehicle is greater than twenty-seven degrees Celsius (27°C) including the humidex calculation or less than five degrees Celsius (5°C) including the wind-chill value as determined by the Environment Canada temperature readings;

(xi) vehicles engaged in works undertaken for or on behalf of the Region, the City or public utilities;

(xii) vehicles engaged in a normal farm practice; or,

(xiii) vehicles, including hybrid vehicles, that eliminate the emission of green house gases and criteria air contaminants during the idling phase of operation.


3.0 Administration and enforcement

(a) A Municipal Law Enforcement Officer or a Police Officer may enforce all of the provisions of this bylaw.


4.0 Penalty 

(a) Every person who contravenes any provision of this bylaw is guilty of an offence and, upon conviction, is liable to any penalty as provided for in the Provincial Offences Act, R.S.O. 1990, c.P.33, as amended.


5.0 Severability 

(a) If any section, clause or provision of this bylaw is, for any reason, declared by a Court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, the same shall not affect the validity of the bylaw as a whole or any part thereof, other than the section, clause or provision so declared to be invalid, and it is hereby declared to be the intent that all remaining sections, clauses or provisions of the bylaw shall remain in full force and effect.


6.0 Effective date 

(a) This bylaw shall come into force and effect on the date it is passed by Council.


7.0 Short title

(a) This bylaw may be referred to as the "Idling Control Bylaw".

Passed by the Council on June 22, 2009. 


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