Anti-Idling Ordinance


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San Antonio, TX 78283-3966

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  • Douglas Melnick Email Douglas Melnick
    Chief Sustainability Officer

Anti-Idling Starting January 1, 2017, vehicles weighing 14,000 pounds or more are prohibited from idling more than five minutes (30 minutes for buses) within the City of San Antonio. In addition no driver using the vehicle’s sleeper berth may idle the vehicle:

  • in a school zone;
  • within 1000 feet of a public school during its hours of operation;
  • within 1000 feet of a hospital; or
  • in a residential area

The Anti-Idling Ordinance was adopted by City Council on June 30, 2016.

Download the Anti-Idling Summary Card.


Idling for longer than five minutes is permitted if the following circumstances occur:

  • A military, emergency, law enforcement or armored vehicle
  • A vehicle being used as airport ground support equipment
  • Vehicles being operated as rental equipment
  • Vehicles sitting in traffic jams
  • Vehicles being operated for maintenance or diagnostic purposes
  • Vehicles made after 2008 equipped with heavy-duty diesel or a natural gas engine certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • Vehicles providing a power source necessary for mechanical operation (loading and unloading, truck refrigeration) and/or passenger compartment heating or air conditioning
  • Vehicles being operated to defrost a windshield
  • Vehicles being used to supply air conditioning or heating for passenger comfort and safety in commercial or public transportation are allowed to idle up to a maximum of 30 minutes
  • Vehicles being used to supply air conditioning or heating for employee health and safety when the employee is using the vehicle to perform roadway, utility construction or maintenance
  • Vehicles being used to run heat or air conditioning while driver is using the vehicle’s sleeper berth for a government-mandated rest period.


Starting January 1, 2017, City of San Antonio Parking Enforcement and Park Police will issue tickets to drivers of vehicles that idle for more than 5 minutes. The penalty for idling is a fine not to exceed $500. Violation of the idling ordinance is also considered a class C misdemeanor.

Report Idling Violations

Report an idling violation using the online form.

Why Is Idling An Issue?

  • Idling is expensive: Idling may consume a gallon of fuel or more per hour, depending on the vehicle.
  • Idling threatens health: Breathing vehicle emissions increases the risk of respiratory illness, especially in children.
  • Idling pollutes: Emissions from vehicles combine in sunlight to form ground-level ozone pollution.

The Alamo Area Clean Cities Program can provide drivers technical assistance on alternative technologies to allow drivers to be comfortable and safe while saving money and reducing harmful emissions.

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