Resources Canada (NRCan) hopes to reduce idling by trucks and cars
through awareness campaigns and an upcoming rebate program for anti-idling
agency launched “The Quiet Zone — Your Idle-Free Area!” campaign
Oct. 16 in three locations – Bairdsville, New Brunswick; Cardinal,
Ontario; and Kamloops, British Columbia. One goal of the campaign
is to reduce the noise and air pollution that results from idling
at truck stops and in surrounding neighborhoods. Drivers will be
asked to turn off their engines when parked in “quiet zone” areas.
campaign encourages, but does not force, drivers to turn off their
engines while stopped, according to Bob Smith, senior manager of
the agency’s Fleet Smart program. Truck stops who choose to participate
in the program will display banners saying “Welcome to an Idle-Free
Quiet Zone! Please turn it off.” Of course, the decision to turn
off the engine is up to the driver. Smith says drivers will not
be asked to leave.
is just an awareness campaign. We’re not that radical yet,” Smith
said. “Not like in New York.”
each table in participating truck stops, drivers will find placemats
with energy-related quizzes, profiles of fleets with anti-idling
programs and a survey card. After completing the survey, drivers
drop it into a ballot box. Drivers’ names drawn from the survey
ballot box will win prizes ranging from cab heaters to leather jackets.
10-week program aims to reduce engine idling, resulting in less
fuel consumption and decreased emissions of greenhouse gas, which
environmental experts say contribute to climate change.
Resources Canada has set aside $138,000 for the campaign, which
will run from Oct. 16 through Dec. 19, 2003, at about 50 truck stops
across Canada. The first campaign, which took place between November
and December 2002, had 18 participants, including 15 truck stops
and three dealerships that made their parking lots idle-free zones.
the campaign, which is managed by Natural Resources Canada’s Office
of Energy Efficiency, organizers will promote devices designed to
reduce unnecessary idling. These devices include auxiliary cab heaters
and air conditioners, as well as engine timers. Informational material
will be available for drivers and participating truck stops.
aren’t the only vehicles targeted by Canada’s anti-idling campaigns.
In September, the Alberta Reduce Idling Campaign asked all motorists
to turn off their engines when they are parked or stopped for more
than 10 seconds, except in traffic. Examples included turning off
their engines while picking up kids at school or waiting in a drive-through
also plans to implement a rebate program for cab heaters and auxiliary
power units. Although the detailed criteria are still being worked
out, Smith says the program will offer rebates for cab heaters and
APUs purchased by fleets and owner-operators registered in Canada.
The rebate for cab heaters will be 19 percent of the retail price,
with the rebate limited to $350. For APUs, the 19-percent rebate
is limited to $1,400.
its neighbors to the south, Canada is looking toward new technologies,
like truck-stop electrification and fuel cells, to solve their emission
and energy usage woes. Smith says he’s even heard that IdleAire
has been negotiating with some Canadian fleets to install the company’s
anti-idling systems at fleet terminals.
all the anti-idling programs? It’s all part of the “Climate Change
Plan for Canada,” which supports the 1992 United Nations Framework
Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol, which sets
out specific targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
René Tankersley, feature editor
René Tankersley can be reached at email@example.com.