May 8, 2014 5:48 pm

Mississauga mayor wants stricter enforcement on drive-thru idling

WATCH ABOVE: Mayor Hazel McCallion isn’t actively pursuing the enforcement, but says it would be a good idea. Mark Carcasole reports.

TORONTO – People in Mississauga could be paying a lot more for their morning coffee if Mayor Hazel McCallion gets her way.

It was a passing remark during council that got people talking when the mayor said vehicle idling laws should be enforced at drive-thrus to deal with the traffic and pollution problems.

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“It’s kind of contrary for us to have an anti-idling bylaw on our books, and at the same time, approve drive-thrus,” said Mayor McCallion.

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While she’s not officially pursuing the idea she says she hopes to someday see Peel Regional Police crackdown on idling at drive-thru lanes.

Dr. Eileen de Villa, an associate medical officer of health with Peel, says Peel Public Health would fully support the idea if it were proposed by city council.

“Making sure that people are aware that what they do at an individual level does have an impact on air quality,” she said. “And it gives people some control over the issue.”

According to Mississauga’s idling bylaw a car can be stopped for up to three minutes. After that, a driver could be fined $150.

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Tony Elenis, president of the Ontario Restaurants Hotels and Motels Association, says new technology implemented at drive-thrus ensures customers are getting their coffee or late night burger faster than before.

“Through technology we have been able to be successful in accelerating cars through the drive-thru lanes. We have double-stacked lanes now,” said Elenis.

McCallion, who has tried to ban drive thrus in the past, says enforcing the bylaw would be unfeasible but wants people to think about the environment when they get their morning bagel.

The City of Toronto caps idling at one minute and expects its employees abide by a “10-second rule” for idling.

According to Natural Resources Canada, idling for longer than 10 seconds wastes more gas and produces more carbon emissions than restarting the engine.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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