County Council updates Traffic, Responsible Pet Ownership, and Community Safety Bylaws
At the February 4, 2020 Regular Council Meeting, Council made changes to several major County bylaws, including the Traffic Bylaw, the Responsible Pet Ownership Bylaw (formerly known as the Animal Control Bylaw), and the Community Safety Bylaw. These bylaws come into effect today (February 10, 2020).
Most changes clarified definitions and cleaned up spelling or grammar. However, here are highlights of changes to these bylaws that may affect you and impact how County Peace Officers will enforce these rules.
Traffic Bylaw: Major Changes
- The County now has the authority to tow vehicles from roadways at the owner’s expense if road maintenance (like snow removal) needs to be done. The County will work to provide ample notification in areas affected by maintenance.
- Unless permission is given by the CAO, signs that that obstruct roadways or sidewalks will not be allowed.
- Unless permission is given by the CAO, residents cannot allow livestock to enter, cross, obstruct, or enter a highway or area adjacent to a highway.
- Anyone who wishes to hold parades (or other events that obstruct roadways) must get written permission from the County.
- No one can cover, damage, or interfere with any traffic control device, sign, or barricade. Municipally-owned signs (such as subdivision markers) are also included.
- During fire bans or advisories, the County can restrict or ban the use of off-highway vehicles on public lands.
- The age to operate an off-highway vehicle without adult supervision has been reduced from 18 to 16 years.
- Some fines have been increased. For instance, parking in a fire lane is now $300, blocking an emergency exit with a vehicle is $300, parking that interferes with an emergency vehicle or County vehicle is $300, and abandoning a vehicle on a highway is $200.
Responsible Pet Ownership Bylaw: Major Changes
Lac La Biche County Peace Officers responded to approximately 700 animal complaints in 2019. The changes to this bylaw will allow our officers to better serve residents, with higher fines acting as a deterrent and ensuring that residents comply with the bylaw.
- Dogs that have been lodged in the pound will be held for 72 consecutive hours. If they’re not claimed by the end of this period, they’ll be available for adoption. Weekends and holidays did not previously count towards the 72-hour window, but now do count.
- Dogs that are licensed, have an identification tag, are microchipped, or equipped with some sort of identification will be held for 10 days. This period is required by the Animal Protection Act of Alberta.
- The fee to surrender a dog to Enforcement Services is now $100.
- Dogs that are picked up and lodged in the pound will incur an impound fee of $50 per day per animal.
- Dogs that are running at large will be subject to a fine of $250.
Community Safety Bylaw: Major Changes
- An 11 pm curfew remains in effect for youth under the age of 12. Children under this age may still be out in the community after 11 pm and before 6 am if they have a legitimate reason, such as travelling home, or taking part in school, religious, or community events organized by adults.
- Fines under the amended Community Safety Bylaw also include a different rate for second offences. If someone violates the Bylaw within one year of their first offence, they could face a higher fine.
- Fines for offences that risk public safety (such as fighting in public, using a dangerous object, or encouraging someone to commit an offence) have increased.
If you have any questions about these bylaws, please contact the County’s complaint line at 780-623-6767.