Salt Lake City Adopts 2-Minute Idling Ordinance

November 01, 2011

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On October 25, Salt Lake City passed a bylaw restricting vehicle idling to 2 minutes or less. The law does not apply when the temperature is below 32F or above 90F.

The ordinance does not apply to emergency and airport-support vehicles, among others, or to in-traffic situations, such as stoplights. It also applies to vehicles waiting in drive-through line ups.

The ordinance was contested by merchants whose businesses offer such services, but city council came up with a unique work-around: drivers doing business at drive-through windows are exempt from the idling rule provided that the business has posted signs to discourage idling.

Unlike some other municipal ordinances, Salt Lake City's rule does not exempt vehicles on private property.

According to the Deseret News, the assistant to the Mayor's chief of staff, Bianca Shreeve, says that the ordinance is focused on education, and that enforcement will be complaint based. Salt Lake City's parking enforcement officers, not police, will enforce the ordinance.

First-time offenders will receive a warning. Second offenses will set motorists back $160 ($50 if the fine is paid within 10 days), and a third, $210. A six-month grace period and a public awareness campaign will precede enforcement.

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