Anti-idling ordinance in the works
In keeping with its sustainability efforts, the Summit County Council is considering restricting the length of time drivers can leave their vehicles idling.
"We passed a resolution two years ago to encourage people not to idle, but it was a resolution and so there is no force of law or enforcement," Councilmember John Hanrahan told the Park Record on Monday.
The anti-idle discussion comes on the heels of the recent Utah Legislature House Bill 104 prohibiting governing bodies from restricting vehicle idling unless the ordinance:
The Park City Council adopted an anti-idling ordinance in December, 2010, and modified it in May, 2012 to comply with the state statute.
Hanrahan asked the county council on Wednesday, Sept. 26, if they were interested in also adopting an anti-idling ordinance.
Council Chair Dave Ure first expressed concern about how it would be enforced and also how it would affect his own ranch operations.
"The thing that causes me to turn the machine off is the $4.50 a gallon diesel cost," Ure said. "I just can’t afford it. But every once in a while I’ll slip up and leave the tractor idling. So I just can’t support it. It would have to be a very, very loose ordinance."
Hanrahan pointed out that the ordinance can only be enforced on private property that’s open to the general public, and that farm vehicles are exempt. He said it’s a very relaxed law that is primarily for educational purposes and acknowledged that it would be difficult to enforce.
"Currently people in Park City just send an e-mail or call about a vehicle idling," Hanrahan said. "The officer then sends out a warning. After three such warnings, they issue a citation. I don’t know if that’s the best way to do it but we need some creative solutions on how to enforce it."
Councilmember Chris Robinson said that even if it’s not widely enforced, he thinks it’s a good idea to help educate the public.
"My issue is, we have a lot of employees who don’t pay $4.50 a gallon, and it’s convenient to leave the motor running," Robinson said. "I would love to have a good reason for them to turn off their vehicles. I would be in favor of seeing an ordinance drafted following the principles of the state law and along the lines of the Park City ordinance."
The county’s sustainability department and attorneys will draft the ordinance, after which it will be brought back to the county council for a vote.
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