January 25, 2018

Erin may enforce idling bylaw on 124

The Town of Erin is considering whether to enforce its idling control bylaw, in an attempt to force truckers to shut down their engines while they go into the Tim Hortons restaurant at the north end of Erin village.
Town council received a motion from its environment committee on Jan. 16 requesting that idling control signs be erected on a section of County Road 124 to educate drivers about the bylaw, and that “after a reasonable amount of time”, the town bylaw officer be directed to issue tickets.
Truckers often leave their engines running while they go into Tim Hortons.

The motion initiated by Heidi Matthews says highway trucks are breaking the bylaw “regularly and routinely on a daily basis”.
Council decided it needed more “clarity” on the matter, since the town cannot erect signs on a county road. A decision has been deferred until after Mayor Al Alls discusses the matter with county officials.
CAO Nathan Hyde said signs are not required for the bylaw to be enforced, since it applies in all areas of the town.
There was also discussion, but no decision, about whether trucks should be allowed to park (with engines off) on that section of road.
“I’ve been after the county, from the roads perspective, because I’m getting more concerned about the number of trucks parked on either side of that road,” said Mayor Al Alls.
“The shoulders are slowly sliding in towards the ditch. It also blocks good vision going around the corner there. It’s a screwed up intersection.”
Councillor Matt Sammut said he tends to agree with the motion, saying that idling “does impact the environment”. Councillor Rob Smith said if diesel engines cool off, they are more difficult to start up.
The idling control by-law, enacted in 2009, says it is illegal to allow the engine of a stationary vehicle to run for more than three minutes. There is a range of exceptions, but unless a truck must stay running to operate a refrigeration or heating system for cargo, idling outside a restaurant is normally not allowed.
The Municipal Act allows local regulation of matters that affect health and safety. The Erin bylaw asserts that vehicle emissions cause air pollution, resulting in a risk to respiratory health.