Loading

Problems & Solutions

The Statutory Ban against Idling of Motor Vehicle Engines

Background 

Effective Date
 
Prohibition and Penalty  

Scope of Control 

Exemptions – Purpose and Content
 

Publicity Materials (Direct Link for Application)

Reference 

Further Information 

 
  
Background
 

Allowing idling vehicles to run their engines causes air pollution, heat and noise nuisances and wastes fuel, thereby contributing to global climate change.  To tackle these environmental problems, the Administration introduced in April 2010 the Motor Vehicle Idling (Fixed Penalty) Bill to the Legislative Council (LegCo) after consulting the public.  After deliberation and scrutiny by the Bills Committee of the LegCo, the Bill was passed in March 2011. 

  
[Back to Top
  
  
Effective Date
 

The Ordinance comes into operation on 15 December 2011.

 
[Back to Top
 
 

Prohibition and Penalty 

 

Under the Motor Vehicle Idling (Fixed Penalty) Ordinance (the Ordinance) (Cap. 611), the driver of a motor vehicle is prohibited from causing or permitting any internal combustion engine ("ICE")1 which forms2 part of a motor vehicle to operate for more than three minutes in aggregate within any continuous sixty-minute period while the vehicle is stationary (“idling prohibition”), unless an exemption applies.  A driver3 who contravenes the idling prohibition may be issued with a Penalty Notice requiring him or her to pay a fixed penalty of HK$320.  Traffic Wardens and Environmental Protection Inspectors are empowered to enforce the law. 

 

If a driver, who has been issued with a Penalty Notice, continues to idle the vehicle for more than three minutes in any sixty-minute period again, the enforcing agent may issue another Penalty Notice to the driver for the subsequent contravention.

   

Notes: 

1.

An ICE means an engine where combustion of fuel takes place within the engine. 

2. 

The ICE propelling the vehicle and any other ICEs forming part of, attached to or situated in or on the vehicle will be covered, regardless of their purposes.

3.

A driver means any person who is in charge of, or assisting in the control of a vehicle. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[Back to Top
 
   
Scope of Control
  
The idling prohibition is applicable:

1.

to all roads in Hong Kong, including private roads and car parks;

2.

all year round;   

3.

to all motor vehicles with ICEs powered by fuels such as petrol, diesel or liquefied petroleum gas, as well as hybrid vehicles operating in fuel combustion mode.  As electric vehicles and hybrid vehicles operating solely in electric mode do not emit pollutants, the idling prohibition should not apply on them;

4. 

to all vehicles with ICEs including off road motor vehicles: apart from private cars, motor cycles and various commercial vehicles which run on the road, the idling prohibition will also apply to those that operate off road such as forklift trucks and golf carts; and

5.

to all ICEs on a motor vehicle, i.e. the ICE propelling the vehicle and any other ICEs forming part of, attached to or situated in or on the vehicle will be covered by the idling prohibition, regardless of their purposes.

  
[Back to Top
  
 
Exemptions – Purpose and Content
  

The Ordinance provides for exemptions from the idling prohibition in some traffic or weather conditions.  Some motor vehicles, such as refrigerator trucks, concrete mixer trucks, etc. are designed to rely on the continued operation of the vehicles’ special features to prevent deterioration of their goods.  In other cases there are operational needs for the engines of certain vehicles to be kept on in order to meet reasonable service requirements.  To cater for these situations, the Ordinance provides for the following exemptions from the idling prohibition:

 

Applicable Vehicles / Situations

 

Exempted Drivers

     

Examples / Remarks

    

All Motor Vehicles

 

A driver of a motor vehicle that is stationary because of traffic conditions

 

 

Traffic conditions include:

1   

traffic congestion;

2

traffic accident;

3

stopping as directed by a traffic light, traffic sign, road marking or police officer;

4

a queue of motor vehicles into a petrol filling station or a LPG filling station;

5

a queue of taxis into a taxi stand;

6

a queue of motor vehicles into a landfill;

7

a queue of motor vehicles into a car park; and

8

a queue of goods vehicles into a container terminal, etc..

 
            

 

 

A driver who cannot prevent a motor vehicle from idling because of a mechanical difficulty over which he or she has no control      

 

 

 
            
   

A driver of a motor vehicle while a passenger is boarding or alighting from the vehicle

 

Note: The driver of a vehicle that is stationary for loading or unloading of goods is NOT exempted.       

 
            

 

 

A driver who must idle a motor vehicle for assisting in an emergency or accident     

     
            

 

 

A driver who must idle a motor vehicle for compliance testing (in relation to the Road Traffic Ordinance (Cap. 374), the Air Pollution Control Ordinance (Cap. 311) or the Noise Control Ordinance (Cap. 400)), or vehicle repairs

 

 

 
            

 

 

All drivers when a very hot weather warning or an amber, red or black rainstorm warning signal is in force, and until the mid-night of the day when the warning or signal has ceased to be in force 

 

The latest weather information, including weather warnings or signals in force, is available from the Hong Kong Observatory’s website, the mobile application “MyObservatory" and the  "Dial-a-Weather" service on 1878 200.  For information about weather warnings or signals that have been in force on the day, please refer to  "Today's Weather Warnings and Signals Record" on the Observatory’s website.

 
            

Taxi

 

A driver of a taxi that is at a taxi stand 

     
            

Green Minibuses (GMBs)

 

Drivers of any of the first two GMBs on a particular scheduled service at a GMB stand  

 

 

 
            

Red Minibuses

 

Drivers of any of the first two RMBs at a RMB stand 

 

 

 

 (RMBs) 

         

 

 

A driver of a RMB at a RMB stand with any passenger on board; and the driver of the RMB immediately behind at the RMB stand 

 

 

 
           

Buses and School Private Light Buses

 

A driver of a bus (also known as “coach")or school private light bus with any passenger on board 

 

 

 
           

Franchised Buses

 

A driver of a franchised bus with any passenger on board 

 

 

 
           

 

 

A driver of a franchised bus at any time when the bus is available for boarding by passengers   

 

 

 
           

Specified Medical, Emergency or Law Enforcement Vehicles 

 

A driver who must idle a specified medical, emergency or law enforcement vehicle for conducting an operational activity (including a training activity) related to any medical, emergency or law enforcement purpose

 

 

A specified medical, emergency or law enforcement vehicle means a motor vehicle used by any of the following bodies –

1   

the Auxiliary Medical Service;

2

the Civil Aid Service;

3

the Correctional Services Department;

4

the Customs and Excise Department;

5

the Fire Services Department;

6

the Fish Marketing Organization;

7

the Government Flying Service;

8

the Hong Kong Police Force;

9

the Hong Kong St. John Ambulance;

10

the Hospital Authority;

11

the Immigration Department; and

12

the Independent Commission Against Corruption.

 
           

Specified Motor Vehicles Carrying Live Animals 

 

A driver who must idle a specified motor vehicle carrying any live animal for conducting a related operational activity or protecting public health

 

 

A specified motor vehicle means a motor vehicle driven for the parties below, or for or as a contractor of the parties below –

the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department;
2 the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department;
3 the Leisure and Cultural Services Department; and
4 the holder of a licence, permit or special permit granted or issued under any of the following provisions:
 

(a) 

regulation 57A of the Public Health (Animals and Birds) Regulations (Cap. 139A);

 

(b)

regulation 5(1) of the Public Health (Animals and Birds) (Animal Traders) Regulations (Cap. 139B);

 

(c)

regulation 4(1) or 8(1) of the Public Health (Animals and Birds) (Exhibitions) Regulations (Cap. 139F);

 

(d)

regulation 5(1) of the Public Health (Animals and Birds) (Boarding Establishment) Regulations (Cap. 139I);

 

(e)

regulation 5(1) of the Public Health (Animals and Birds) (Riding Establishment) Regulations (Cap.139J); and

 

(f)

section 12 of the Rabies Regulation (Cap. 421A).

 
           

Security Transit Vehicles 

 

A driver who must idle a security transit vehicle which is operated by a licensee under the Security and Guarding Services Ordinance (Cap. 460) as described in Schedule 1 to the Ordinance for providing armoured transportation services 

 

 

 
           

Garrison Vehicles 

 

A driver who must idle a motor vehicle of the Garrison for conducting an operational activity (including a training activity of the Garrison)   

     
           

Motor Vehicles Necessarily Idling for Certain Purposes 

 

A driver who must idle a motor vehicle, which is lawfully designed for a purpose other than carriage of the driver, any passenger and their personal effects, for the primary purpose of such vehicle

 

 

Examples include:
1

a driver who must idle a refrigerator truck for carrying perishable freight at specified low temperatures;

2

a driver who must idle a tipper lorry for operating a tipping system for loading and unloading refuse;

3

a driver who must idle a recovery vehicle for providing vehicle recover and towing services;

4

a driver who must idle a vehicle equipped with a water jetting unit for clearing blocked drains;

5

a driver who must idle a hydraulic platform vehicle for operating a cage for truncating tree branches;

6

a driver who must idle a refuse collection vehicle for collecting refuse or waste; 

7

a driver who must idle a street washing vehicle for washing the streets; and

8

a driver who must idle a vehicle to operate the tail board, etc.. 

   

This exemption does NOT apply to a driver of a motor vehicle which has been illegally modified. 

   

This exemption does NOT apply to a driver who idles a motor vehicle for –

(a) 

operating any accessory to the vehicle, such as television, radio, video player, computer, refrigerator, vacuum cleaner, etc.; 

(b)

providing air conditioning for the driver or any passengers;

(c)

a purpose that is substantially for the convenience of the driver or any passengers.

 
           

If the Director of Environmental Protection ("DEP") is satisfied that exceptional circumstances exist that make it impractical or unreasonable for the driver or drivers of the class to comply with the idling prohibition, DEP may exempt a driver or a class of drivers from the idling prohibition, and impose any necessary conditions. 

 

To ensure the exemption arrangements are not abused, the enforcement agents may request the relevant driver(s) to provide certain information to verify whether the exemption criteria are met.  Exempted drivers should carry documentary proof that can prove the exemption status when driving.

 
[Back to Top]  
  
 
Publicity Materials   
 

Publicity materials to promote the idling prohibition are open for application

 
[Back to Top
 
 
Reference 
 

For details of the Ordinance, please visit the following links:

 
1. Motor Vehicle Idling (Fixed Penalty) Ordinance (Cap. 611) 
   
2. Animated Videos Defining the Exempted Conditions under the Ordinance
   
  Part 1 - Exemptions applicable to all vehicles
   
  Part 2 - Exemptions applicable to passenger transport vehicles
   
  Part 3 - Exemptions applicable to other specified vehicles
   
3. Poster and Pamphlet with Details of the Ordinance
   
  Poster
   
  Pamphlet
 
[Back to Top]  
  
 
Further Information 
 

For further information, please contact us at:

 

Mobile Source Group
Environmental Protection Department
34/F, Revenue Tower
5 Gloucester Road
Wan Chai, Hong Kong

Telephone:  2838 3111

Email:         idlingenq@epd.gov.hk 

Archives

 
Back to top

 

User defined date2: 
Monday, 7 January, 2013