As part of our Sustainable Community strategy, the Idle Free Bylaw (Bylaw 18-15) was passed in Okotoks-aimed at protecting our environment and the health of our community.
Some of the main concerns that led Okotoks to adopt this bylaw were due to excessive idling of vehicles when waiting to pick up children, and also in high foot-traffic areas, such as being parked outside of gas stations, shops and restaurants. Often idling cannot be helped, for example, when warming up a vehicle to help clear the windshield or dropping the kids off at school or an after-school activity. All things considered, the bylaw allows for a multitude of permissible idling scenarios in which the driver of the vehicle is not penalized. Please check out all details of the Bylaw on Okotoks.ca.
The Conservation Educators have been using this new bylaw as an education piece throughout the summer months; taking the opportunity to approach drivers, in many scenarios, identifying unnecessary idling, and handing out information tags about the bylaw and the harmful effects of idling. While the Conservation Educators cannot enforce the Idle-Free Bylaw, the bylaw itself helps reinforce the message to residents that air quality is an important factor to consider when it comes to both health and environmental concerns.
A great thought to consider is if all Canadians avoid idling for five minutes every day, more than 2 tonnes of carbon dioxide can be prevented from entering the environment. That’s like taking 350,000 vehicles off the road for a year!
Anastassia Martynove, Town of Okotoks
CRAZ would like to thank the Town of Okotoks for being a member of CRAZ. Together they are partnering and bringing air quality education to the students of Dr. Morris Gibson school and St. Mary`s School. During the weeks of September 19th to October 14th, CRAZ will be parking the Mobile Air Monitoring Lab (MAML) outside of each school for a two week term collecting PM2.5 data. The CRAZ team will also be giving an air quality presentation to encourage the students. As a thank you to the students for their participation they will be presented with an Idle Free traffic sign. For more information on this project or if you would like CRAZ to come to your school for a presentation please email Tanya.carlson@Calgary.ca
Tanya Carlson, Engagement Programs Manager, Calgary Region Airshed Zone