Const. Clayton Delowsky of the Stettler RCMP detachment was invited to council chambers in hopes of alleviating burning questions councillors had towards their current traffic bylaw.
Most of the information present in the bylaw reflects the provincial Traffic Safety Act.
One concern brought forward by Coun. Harry Nibourg was a section pertaining to parades and what is classified as one.
The definition of a parade aside from military or funeral processions means that any group of 20 or more people walking in the street or any group of vehicles exceeding 10 is considered a parade.
Coun. Nibourg felt this was open-ended.
“If you have 20 players, two baseball teams walking down the street from the baseball diamond coming up to the hotel, you can actually charge them with having an unsanctioned parade,” said Coun. Nibourg.
“Well that is just a definition describing what a parade or procession is,” said Mayor Sandra Schell.
“It doesn’t say that you are going to charge them with anything,” added Coun. Dwayne Grover.
Nibourg mentioned that a parade organizer must have a permit to conduct their parade or else every person walking in that group could be charged by bylaw enforcement.
The same situation could arise if their common cruise night attendees travel through town as well which Nibourg thought could be seen as a ‘money grab’.
“That’s differing in the fact that they would be giving the village notification if something like that would be happening,” said Schell.
“They don’t usually do that,” said Nibourg.
“Then that is their fault,” said Mayor Schell.
“The car club or motorbikes will just come by and cruise for the day and make one round and show their vehicles off and then leave again,” he continued.
“Technically they can be fined so if you have somebody who is a control freak or the CAO or whatever that can be considered a money grab,” said Nibourg.
“This is the thing… When we start writing these bylaws in it might be okay now but you got to realize 10 years from now it can be in the law and they can use it to their advantage,” said Nibourg.
Const. Delowsky arrived during the conversation and was able to share his thoughts on the parade definition finding it to be a bit of a grey area.
“It has a lot to do with how you interpret it and common sense,” said Delowsky.
He mentioned that most bylaw tickets are driven on a complaint basis and that most of the RCMP focuses on dealing with criminal laws.
Any quads or off-highway vehicles are strictly for that purpose but can still be in a parade.
If an officer were to find fault with this then he could try to use the bylaw to charge but for most situations, the officer doesn’t worry about this if they are not causing issues.
“A bylaw is the village or towns way of tweaking certain laws and legislation. There has to be that common sense that comes with it. It really depends on how you guys want to tweak it to satisfy your needs,” said Delowsky.
Council tabled the discussion to give Chief Administrative Officer Brown time to gather more information for the subjects they requested.
Mayor Schell told councillor Nibourg and Grover to put their versions of the bylaw together as well for when they bring the bylaw back for review at the next meeting.