Poor air quality is a significant public health concern for those who live in the Salt Lake Valley. Due to our geography, climate and growing population, air pollution is a persistent problem that contributes to respiratory issues such as asthma, emphysema, lung cancer, and impacts our overall quality of life.
Vehicle exhaust makes up over 50% of the air pollution in Utah, and unnecessary idling of cars and buses contribute a significant amount of emissions released into the air each day.
In the fall of 2011, the Salt Lake City Council unanimously approved a proposal from Mayor Ralph Becker to create the City’s first Idle Free Ordinance. The ordinance prohibits unnecessary vehicle idling over two minutes within city limits.
Download a PDF version of the Salt Lake City Idle Free ordinance.
See the full Idle Free Ordinance online.
Key points of the ordinance include:
- A time limit of two minutes for unnecessary vehicle idling.
- The ordinance is enforceable on public property and private property open to the public (i.e. drive-through windows and parking lots).
- Three warnings will be issued before any fines are levied. Once a fine is issued, the traditional parking fee structure applies:
- Paid in less than 10 days – $15
- 11 to 20 days – $55
- 21 to 30 days – $85
- 31 to 40 days – $125
- Idling while stopped:
- for an official traffic control device;
- for an official traffic control signal;
- at the direction of a police officer;
- at the direction of an air traffic controller;
- for airport airside operations requirements.
- Idling as needed for the health or safety of a driver or passenger, including police K-9 or other service animals.
- Idling as needed for authorized emergency or law enforcement vehicles to operate equipment.
- Idling as needed for repair, maintenance, or inspection of the vehicle.
- Idling as needed for the period recommended by the manufacturer for efficient operations of a turbocharged heavy duty vehicle. This includes building air pressure in air brake systems, among other requirements.
- Idling as needed to operate auxiliary equipment for which the vehicle was primarily designed or equipped, such as: emergency equipment, refrigeration unit, lift, crane, pump, drill, hoist, or ready mixed equipment, except a heater or air conditioner.