EDITORIAL – Bring the hammer down on idlers and other road rules abusers

(Image: Mel Rothenburger)

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

DRIVING LAWS SHOULD BE easy to obey and, yet, so many of us take them as mere suggestions. Some examples today.

First up, listen to this story from a viewer:

“Yesterday in the Staples parking lot a massive newer Ford F-350 with every toy, light set, winch, and vanity effect you can imagine was left running while the driver walked into Staples. “As I was following him in, I found my printer labels and scotch tape then came upon him pushing a cart.

“I did my well-rehearsed lines… ‘Hi (with a smile), couldn’t help but notice you left your big truck running outside and it’s 2 degrees outside.’ Shrugged my shoulders and reminded him it’s a no idle zone here.

“Well, this little fella had an immediate and aggressive remark involving sex and travel. Then another half step inwards with a ‘mind your own F-n business.’”

Our informant admits to being shocked at the guy’s anger but that’s the way it is with people caught doing something stupid, isn’t it?

Let me add a couple of my own bylaw beefs, beginning with the dolts who drive around with their dogs in the back of their pickups. That’s dangerous and it’s illegal. The slightest mishap and the dog goes flying, probably being killed and possibly endangering others.

The BC SPCA recently urged drivers not to do it but may as well be talking to a brick wall.

And then there’s the folks who leave their pets locked inside vehicles in summer and the yard tractor warriors who plow driveway snow onto the street, creating accidents waiting to happen.

All of the above are illegal. Yet, the bozos who commit such infractions, like the one with the idling truck, become offended, defensive and often abusive if anybody draws it to their attention.

If more of us called the cops or bylaws officers on them, maybe they’d get the message.

Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at

About Mel Rothenburger (8896 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

6 Comments on EDITORIAL – Bring the hammer down on idlers and other road rules abusers

  1. Alan Kuhnert // January 13, 2021 at 12:10 PM // Reply

    While helping my 81 year old mother-in-law with her paper route the day after a snowfall I couldn’t help notice a city of Kamloops work crew clearing drains (at a snails pace) while their trucks sat idling. Since it was slow going for this 71 year old it took me 30 minutes to clear the area. The trucks were idling when I got there and still idling when I left. I’m guessing they were parked for at least 45 minutes. Kamloops can make by-laws but their employees can ignore them. I think it is simply a case of “Do as I say, not as do as I do”.

  2. Dawne Dawne Taylor // January 12, 2021 at 3:03 PM // Reply

    Call bylaws, not the police. The police have more important issues to deal with. Yes the “rules” should be followed, but please call the appropriate agency when they are not.

    • Mel Rothenburger // January 12, 2021 at 4:01 PM // Reply

      Yes, depends on who has jurisdiction. Dogs in trucks, for example, come under Motor Vehicles while idling is a City bylaw.

  3. Yeah you should drop by Arrowstone and Hillside Drive at mid-afternoon and see even more of that nonsense. And certainly the situations I am describing are happening in the vicinity of every school in the city. In the last few years I have sent a letter to the school superintendent, with no avail. I sent emails to the City’s CAO pleading for a little Bylaws involvement to no avail. I have sent emails and had one-on-one meeting with the principal at the elementary school and to this very day, with temperatures above the freezing, about half of the parents awaiting for the recess bell sit in their usually large, idling vehicles fumbling with their personal communication devices for up to 1/2 hour. I have on multiple occasions asked parents to respect the “no idling” signs (and not to park in the bus loop) to no avail, except for stares and gossip. I am the only parent as far as I can see who usually walks to the school regardless of the weather, one just needs to dress for it. On my travels I still see City of Kamloops vehicles left idling. I have neighbors with an extreme delight for their remote starters…but nothing can be said otherwise a confrontation would ensue. The great unwashed are having their ways and preparing the future generations for a continuation of the same.

    • There is no Hillside Drive and Arrowstone anywhere near each other, if you’re referring to Arrowstone Drive … and that’s the only Arrowstone I know of in town. There is no Elementary school on Arrowstone so I guess your talking about Dufferin Elementary by Copperhead?

      • David: You could do a simple Google search to find out which school is on Arrowstone Drive and which one is on Hillside Drive. I, NO WHERE SAID the two are in close proximity with each other.

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