EDITORIAL: Anti-idling doesn’t make sense

Coldstream's move towards a new policy could generate some complications

Air quality and global warming are motherhood issues and obviously anything that helps minimize those situations is welcome.

However, at the same time that carbon emissions are being targeted, reality also has to be considered.

And that’s specifically the case with Coldstream council instructing staff to prepare a bylaw that would prevent motorists from idling their vehicles for a specified period of time.

On the surface, it sounds good but how practical is it?

Is Coldstream willing to hire a number of bylaw enforcement officers to drive around and ensure everyone is following the rules, and how much pollution would be generated if district staff are driving around looking for offenders?

Generally the municipality reacts to bylaw offences on a complaint basis but by the time a complaint was called into the district office and staff hit the road, the alleged offender would be long gone.

The other issue to consider is that unlike more urbanized communities, including even Vernon, there are going to be few places in Coldstream where idling potentially occurs. In fact, most of it will likely be outside of the four schools as parents wait for their children, and in the summer, idling will be a result of air conditioning, while keeping warm will be the scenario during the winter.

Similar to shooting fish in a barrel, it wouldn’t be fair for bylaw officers to keep frequenting the same locations.

As mentioned earlier, anti-idling rules sound good on paper and may indicate that some action is being taken against climate change and pollution, but actually implementing such a program doesn’t make sense.