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Mountain View County considers green lights for responding firefighters

Some area urban municipalities allow the use of a greenlight in a vehicle other than an emergency vehicle

MOUNTAIN VIEW COUNTY - County council has considered a number of changes to the municipality’s general traffic bylaw, including potentially allowing firefighters to carry a flashing green light on his or her private vehicle when responding to a fire hall for an emergency call.

Several fire departments in towns in the district already allow the practice, but council is considering also allowing it for firefighters travelling in the county.

The review of the bylaw took place during a special council meeting on Jan. 31, where councillors examined the bylaw and other bylaws and policies in detail to consider possible changes.

One addition being considered to the bylaw reads that a “full-time or volunteer firefighter may carry on or in a vehicle, other than an emergency vehicle, a flashing green lamp and may operate the lamp in the county if the vehicle is proceeding to a fire hall for the purpose of response to a fire or other emergency.

“No person other than a full-time or volunteer firefighters shall operate a flashing green lamp.”

The lamps are used by firefighters to alert other drivers that they heading to a fire hall for an emergency call.

A second proposed related addition to the bylaw section reads: “Nothing in this section (of the bylaw) shall be construed so as to permit a full-time or volunteer firefighter to operate a vehicle in contravention of the Traffic Safety Act, any other provincial legislation or regulation or any bylaw of the county when using a flashing green lamp.”

During the Jan. 31 review of the general traffic bylaw, councillors also considered a number of other proposed amendments and additions.

Section 9.06 currently states: “No person, except with permission of the county, shall operate or move upon or over any paved or gravelled highway any vehicle or traction engine having metal cleats, metal tracks, tire chains or other metal devices attached to its wheels or made a part thereof.”

In regard to that section, councillors passed a motion put forward by Coun. Peggy Johnson directing administration to reword the section “to differentiate between light duty personal vehicles and heavy-duty commercial vehicles.”

Council also consider a proposed change to section 6.04 which would read: “No person shall park a commercial vehicle in any residential area without written authorization from the county, when the weight specified on the certificate of registration issues in respect of that vehicle exceeds, or the gross weight of the vehicle exceeds 16,000 kilograms.”

In regard to that section, council passed a motion put forward by Coun. Gord Krebs directing administration to clarify the bylaw to state that “commercial vehicles are prohibited from parking on the roadways within multi-lot residential areas and cul-de-sacs.”

Council considers a proposed change to section 6.05 which currently reads: “No person shall occupy a recreation vehicle as a temporary or permanent dwelling place, living abode or sleep place on a highway or public place that is not a county-owned campground.”

Council passed a motion put forward by Coun. Johnson instructing administration to change the verbiage to “make it clear that county-owned campgrounds are not intended as permanent dwelling places.”

Council passed first reading to the proposed amended general traffic bylaw, with second reading to be considered with the changes outlined above.

Deputy reeve Dwayne Fulton did not attend the Jan. 31 special council meeting.

Dan Singleton

About the Author: Dan Singleton

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