Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Anti-Idling Bylaws; Surprise, Surprise... GP Already Has One.

Sometimes things get missed.

This article from Monday's edition of the Daily Herald Tribune looking at the possibility of an anti-idling bylaw seems to be spurred on by news from Edmonton. The Mayor ways quoted;

Discussions over an anti-idling bylaw in Edmonton last week stimulated debate in Grande Prairie on whether such a bylaw could apply to this northern city.

Edmonton is considering a bylaw that would give a $250 fine to drivers who idle their vehicles for more than three minutes within a 30-minute period – it would not apply under temperatures -11 and below.

“I don’t know. I really don’t know,” said Mayor Dwight Logan about the bylaw. “I’m reluctant to support something that infringes on people’s right to do things that may not negatively impact other people.

“On the other hand, arguments can be made that the idling does impact other people.”

A bylaw addressing idling has not reached city council in the last few years, said the mayor, but they will look closely to Edmonton’s decision on the matter. ...

So, the story gained a little momentum and generated this editorial in today's paper;

The idea of a bylaw limiting how long people can keep their vehicles running, at first might seem laughable, but it’s no idle threat.

Anti-idling bylaws, as they’re commonly called, are just one of many environmentally-driven ideas that have become all the rage in communities across Canada. While many of these bylaws, and the people supporting them, have their hearts in the right place, we urge caution and not blind obedience. Edmonton is the latest city in Alberta to examine the idea. Jasper has had a bylaw since 2007.

It might not come up in Grande Prairie, but if it does, it’s not a clear-cut issue. ...

The thing is that Grande Prairie does actually have an anti-idling provision in one of it's bylaws, and has had since 2003! You can read the full bylaw here but I've coped the important part below;

Bylaw C-1103
A Bylaw of the City of Grande Prairie, to prohibit certain nuisances, disturbances and activities creating noise; and to abate the incidence of noise and to restrict when certain sounds may be made
(As Amended by Bylaw C-1103A and C-1103B)


17. No person shall use or engage in the use of engine retarder brakes within the City.
18. No person shall allow a motor vehicle engine to remain running in a residential district or within 500 feet of a residential district for longer than 20 minutes while the motor vehicle is not in motion.
19. The failure of a person to comply with the provisions of the Traffic Safety Act or any regulations thereunder regarding:
(a) the prohibition against the use of signalling devices on motor vehicles so as to make more noise than is reasonably necessary;
(b) the restrictions in the type or use of mufflers and similar equipment;
(c) the prohibition against creating or causing the emission of any loud and unnecessary noise from a motor vehicle; or
(d) the operation of a vehicle on a highway in a residential district between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. in a manner that unduly disturbs the residents of that area;

(my bolding)

From reading the bylaw you can see why the issue came up; noise - not environmental impact. I remember discussing the issue and hearing from quite a few residents who were upset with neighbours who would leave large diesel trucks running in the driveway over night. It was only after quite a bit of debate that we decided to include part 18.

So, turns out that GP has had anti-idling provisions in it's bylaws for quite a while. Its not as specific as Edmonton is considering but it is there. Sometimes these things get missed.

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