Idle Free

How do you become idle free? Turn off your engine if you think you will be stopped for more than 60 seconds – except when you are in traffic.

Shows a City of Red Deer Idle Free Zone sign

Why be Idle Free?

Minimizing vehicle idling can reduce health risks caused by emissions, prolong the life of your vehicle and save you money.

According to Parkland Airshed Management Zone, vehicle emissions are the biggest source of air pollution in Red Deer.

When vehicles are running they produce carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, oxides of nitrogen and volatile organic compounds, as well as contributing to the creation of ground level ozone.

Parking lot

Idle Free Business

Going idle free is good for business: it saves money, fuel and greenhouse gas emissions, and reduces the health risks caused by air pollution.

Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School

Idle Free Schools

Vehicle exhaust impacts our children’s health and the health of the environment.

Idle Free Window Decal image

Our Idle Free Policy

We recognize that unnecessary vehicle idling wastes fuel and contributes to air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, and therefore have an idle free policy for vehicles in our fleet.

Tips for reducing vehicle idling:

  • Turn off your engine if you think you will be stopped for more than 60 seconds – except in traffic. Fuel savings will offset any potential increased wear caused by restarting your engine.
  • Warm-up for no longer than five minutes in winter. Modern engines warm up quickly, and the best way to warm up the rest of the vehicle is to drive it.
  • Avoid using a remote car starter. They can encourage you to start your vehicle before you are ready to leave.
  • Plug-in your vehicle in cold weather to warm the engine before starting it. Use an automatic timer to turn on the block heater two hours before you plan to depart.
  • If you have a diesel vehicle, consult the owner’s manual for recommended warm-up and cool-down times. Diesel vehicles don’t require as much warm-up time as many people think.

For more information visit NRCan's Idle Free Zone.

Air pollution affects our health

Vehicle emissions are the largest source of air pollution in Red Deer, and air pollution affects our health:

Pollution Levels Linked to Stroke-Related Narrowing of Arteries
Air pollution related to heart failure
Air pollution related to decreased cognition and well-being
Air pollution a leading cause of environmental cancer deaths
Traffic pollution a health risk for Canadians
Air pollution associated with low birth weight
Red Deer Advocate: air pollution akin to second hand smoke


Related links:

PAMZ Why not to idle information card (pdf)