UXBRIDGE: Council has decided not to move forward with implementing an anti-idling bylaw in the Township.
At a meeting on Monday, Nov. 21st, Councillors were shown a report by Andre Gratton, the Township’s manager of bylaw services, regarding the feasibility of putting an anti vehicle idling bylaw in place in the municipality. The report came forward after Council decided to have staff look into the possibility of having such a bylaw at a meeting in September, after receiving requests from the Township’s energy conservation committee to help put a stop to the practice of idling.
According to the report, only three municipalities have specific anti-idling bylaws: Whitby, Oshawa and Pickering. The report also included a draft bylaw, which stated “no person shall cause or permit the idling of a vehicle for more than five minutes in any 60 minute period.” However, there was also a long list of exemptions, including when the temperature outside is more than 27 degrees Celsius, or less than five degrees, “where a medical doctor certifies in writing that for medical reasons,” as well as if the vehicle is receiving or letting out passengers.
Mr. Gratton told Councillors the bylaw would be “pretty difficult to enforce.”
Mayor Gerri Lynn O’Connor said the main idling offenders are the police.
“Their cars are never shut off,” she said. “It drives an average person crazy.”
Ward 4 Councillor Fred Bryan said he didn’t think this bylaw was worth putting in place in the Township.
“I think this is unenforceable,” he said, later calling it an “exercise in futility.”
However, Regional Councillor Jack Ballinger said he was in favour of implementing an anti-idling bylaw.
“I know this seems like a very little thing, but you have to start somewhere,” he said. Councillor Ballinger later added, not having a bylaw would allow some people to “let their car run forever.”
Ward 5 Councillor Gord Highet said he would rather see the Township go with an education campaign to target the issue of idling. Ward 3 Councillor Dave Barton agreed.
“I think education is key,” Councillor Barton said.
Ward 2 Councillor Pat Molloy said he couldn’t support the bylaw because he thought the list of exemptions limited the effectiveness of the bylaw. He referenced the temperature exemption specifically, stating it would represent eight months of the year.
Council decided not to implement the bylaw, and instead decided to reach out to the energy conservation committee for their help, to put together an education campaign to deal with the idling issue.