Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Idle Free Salt Lake!

On October 25th, the Salt Lake City's Council unanimously approved Mayor Becker's Idling Ordinance. Salt Lake City is not alone in its fight against air pollution. Other municipalities across the nation have successfully instated similar ordinances - including Park City right here in Utah. However, like all new things, there will be questions and it will take time to adjust to this new legislation. The best way for residents and visitors to become accustomed to the new law so is to get the facts. So, courtesy of the Salt Lake City Mayor's Office, here are some helpful facts that can help you better understand the new legislation.

Idling exemptions:
· Idling while in traffic, at control signal or at the direction of a police officer
· Idling as needed to operate heaters or air conditioners where temp is below 32 or above 90, for health or safety or passengers and service animals.
· Idling to operate defrosters.· Idling for emergency vehicles (fire apparatus, ambulance, etc).
· Idling for ensure safe operation of a vehicle
· Idling for testing, service, repair, installation, maintenance or diagnostic purposes.
· Idling to warm up or cool down turbo charged vehicle.
· Idling to operate auxiliary equipment for which the vehicle was designed – such as a lift, crane, hoist, cement mixer or utility vehicle.
· Idling as needed to ensure safe loading and unloading of goods or people.
· Idling to recharge battery or energy unit of a hybrid vehicle.
· Idling as needed for vehicles that house K-9 service animals.
· Idling by on duty policy offers to perform duties.
· Idling in drive throughs if the drive through business has adequate idle-free signage. (This was a new addition presented by the Mayor and made by the council before the ordinance passed on October 25th.)

Other Helpful Facts:
· There is a six month grace period before ordinance will be enforced (Enforcement begins April 25th). During this six month period they city will engage in an extensive public education campaign.
· First citation of this ordinance is a warning.
· Second citation, if paid within ten days is $50.
· SLC is now one of MANY jurisdictions in the country that has an idling law. New York City, Denver, Minneapolis, Austin, Washington, DC, Connecticut, Delaware all have idling limits.
· The City Council has asked the administration to return one year’s time to evaluate the success of the ordinance. If things need fine tuning, they will be address it at that time.
· The Mayor’s Office (and the Council) see this ordinance as one tool in the toolbox for addressing air quality. They have committed themselves to find ways to improve traffic light synchronization, to encourage mass transit, to create walkable neighborhoods and to pursue an array of air quality improving options.

SLC Ordinance Homepage:
Final ordinance transmitted to the City Council:
Public comment report:
Frequently Asked Questions:
To learn more about idling:

1 comment:

  1. I wonder if this doesn't have a law enforcement ulterior motive.

    Cops can now walk up to cars idling, and have the right to conduct more than a welfare check, as you've already broken the law.

    Think how much shady $hit goes down in idling cars...
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