The Minneapolis City Council is considering an idea that will affect each and every person who drives in that city.
An idling car, left idling too long, can earn the driver a ticket.
Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak isn't opposed to the idea.
"I think as responsible communities that care about the climate we have to look at all of those things and I am happy we are taking a look at that," Mayor Rybak said Wednesday.
The intent is a good one. A running vehicle releases emissions harmful to air quality, but, is it realistic to ask Minneapolis police to carry a stop-watch and time a driver for sitting still for three minutes.
"If this was in fact an ordinance we would have to enforce we'd spend most of our day ticketing people for idling cars rather than getting down to the root of solving crime," Minneapolis police spokesman Jesse Garcia said of the proposed ordinance.
With gas prices at record highs this ordinance proposal does bring up an interesting point. The California Energy Commission claims for every two minutes a car is idling it uses the same amount of fuel it takes to drive one mile. And a car that idles for ten seconds is using more fuel to idle than it would take to turn off the engine and restart it.
"I look forward to the day when our cars are idling less and we make more plug in hybrids that are better for our planet," Mayor Rybak said.
The city council discussed the proposal Wednesday, but it has to clear several steps before it becomes law.
(Copyright 2008 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)