Stationary cars | The engines must be cut off after 10 seconds in Outremont

In order to send a “strong message” against pollution, the Outremont district will now formally prohibit motorists from leaving their vehicle’s engine on for more than 10 seconds, under penalty of a fine. The regulation will be in effect as soon as the mercury fluctuates between 0 and 25 degrees outside.

This was announced Monday by the administration of Mayor Laurent Debois, who is also a member of the official opposition, Ensemble Montréal.

Mr. Debois affirms that “through this innovative measure, the strictest of its kind in Quebec”, he wishes to send “a strong message that every gesture counts in order to limit our ecological footprint”. “This sometimes involves small details like turning off your vehicle when it is not moving,” he argued.

More concretely, this means that the time allowed to let a stationary vehicle roll will be reduced by approximately 2 minutes and 50 seconds in Outremont. Until now, it was in fact prohibited to leave the engine of a vehicle running when the latter is immobilized for more than three minutes per hour.

This is also the rule that remains in place in all other boroughs in Montreal, under penalty of a fine generally ranging between $50 and $100. For a heavy vehicle, however, it is authorized to go up to 5 minutes per hour, or even 10 minutes in cold weather.

Exit emergency vehicles

Some exceptions will nevertheless remain in place, assures Outremont. First, the rule will only be applied when the temperature is between 0 and 25 degrees Celsius. The vast majority of the winter, it will therefore not be in place nor in times of heatwave. Emergency vehicles, buses and electric cars will be exempt for obvious reasons.

In a press release, the district states to justify its decision that “contrary to popular belief, the literature confirms that beyond ten seconds, turning off and then restarting the engine of a vehicle does not consume more fuel than to let it idle.”

Outremont specifies that the modifications to its Regulations on nuisances linked to motor vehicles should be adopted at the next meeting of the borough council, which is scheduled for this Tuesday. These changes will then come into effect in the following days.

A priori, it is Outremont public security officers who will be responsible for applying the new regulation, and not the Montreal police. It is unknown whether the surveillance of these municipal agents will be strengthened or whether their workforce will be increased following the adoption of the measure.

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