The luxury of snuggling up in a toasty warmed-up car on a cold day may eventually be a thing of the past for Calgarians.

Yesterday, Edmonton officials debated the prospect of an anti-idling bylaw, possibly cracking down on citizens who warm up the engines or leave it on to run quick errands.

“In time, and not in the too distant future, Calgarians will embrace that as a strategy to reduce greenhouse gases,” said Ald. Joe Ceci.

Currently, Calgary city workers — not including EMS, police or transit — are required to shut down the engine before leaving the vehicle, which Ceci said has been working successfully.
But before Calgarians fully accept the idea, he said there needs to be more awareness among community members.

Ald. Jim Stevenson’s first reaction was that it might be futile, particularly because he questioned the ability to properly enforce such a bylaw, but Ald. Bob Hawkesworth said he wonders how big of a problem it really is.

“They don’t leave their vehicles empty and idling,” Hawkesworth said. “That’s just the risk of it being stolen. People just don’t do that anymore.”

However, he said that he could certainly see “obvious merits” in expanding the anti-idling bylaw past city workers to a city-wide initiative.

“We did it for ourselves for a reason,” he said, adding that they’re to lead by example.
Further investigation and research may also be beneficial, he said.