Council members favour education and signs over bylaw as way to reduce vehicle idling

By Steve Hubrecht

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Radium council discussed the idea of a no-idling bylaw during a recent council meeting, but opted to take an educational approach to the issue rather than a bylaw approach.

The conversation was sparked by a request for such a bylaw from Radium resident Alice Breeze.

“I’m not sure if an anti-idling bylaw is truly enforceable,” said Radium councillor Tyler McCauley, adding that he thinks putting up ‘no idling’ signs around the village might have more impact, in terms of reducing idling, than a bylaw would.

Radium bylaw officer Kent Kebe, in attendance at the meeting, concurred with McCauley that “it would be very difficult to enforce effectively.”

Councillor Dale Shudra asked what other communities in the Kootenay are doing about idling. Radium chief administrative officer, Mark Read, responded that Invermere does have a no-idling bylaw, but that he was unsure about other regional municipalities.

Radium mayor Clara Reinhardt suggested that the village ask Invermere about its bylaw, how it is enforced, whether or not Invermere issues tickets to those who idle their vehicles, and how many idling complaints Invermere gets.

“There does come a time when it seems that it (idling) is out of control,” added Reinhardt, noting that she’s observed visiting snowmobilers start up their trucks, leave them idling while they go into a hotel for breakfast, and then come out an hour and a half later, then drive up Forster Creek Road.

“That is an issue,” said Reinhardt, but indicated she was not in favour of creating a bylaw as a means to deal with it.

She suggested instead that the village work with accommodators to educate visitors to reduce or eliminate idling and that putting up signs, as McCauley suggested, would be helpful.

“That’s where I’d like to go with this,” she said.