EPA announces changes to vehicle idling rules

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Tue, Jun 25, 2013 - Page 4

The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) yesterday promulgated an amendment to the Motor Vehicle Parking and Idling Management Regulations (機動車輛停車怠速管理辦法) to include exemptions, such as when the temperature is higher than 30oC.

The regulation stipulates that stationary vehicles in parking lots, on roads and in other pick-up or transfer areas must turn off their engines if they remain in the same spot for more than three minutes.

Violators face fines of NT$1,500 for motorcycles, NT$3,000 for small vehicles and NT$5,000 for large vehicles.

When the regulations took effect on June 1 last year, they proved unpopular with some motorists, and after assessing similar regulations in other countries, as well as consulting the public, the EPA announced in August last year that the law would be changed.

The amended rules allow exemptions for scenarios, including high temperatures, rain, taxis waiting for passengers, people getting in or out of a vehicle, or when a vehicle is experiencing a mechanical malfunction.

The EPA said the standard for the daily temperature is based on the highest temperature recorded at the idling location by the Central Weather Bureau according to its weather forecast after 5pm the day before, or any time that day.

Turning off the engine when vehicles are idling not only saves fuel, but also reduces air pollution and creates a better environment for public health, the EPA said, adding that drivers should turn off their vehicles’ engines when waiting, if possible.