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Nov2017 Ask the Councillor: What are the rules on drones? Can I operate landscaping equipment on Sunday? Why so many speed bumps?

R.P. asks: What are the rules on drones? Even if individuals identify themselves as professionals,  they should still require permission from the City to fly out of and over others’ properties. What are the necessary credentials to fly a drone for city purposes?

Answer: You are correct. Any UAV operator requires written permission from the land owner to operate.The Guidance Material for Operating Unmanned Air Vehicle systems is as follows:

(12) A copy of the following documents shall be accessible to any person conducting operations under this exemption.

(a) The exemption;

(b) Proof of liability insurance coverage;

(c) Name, address and telephone number of the UAV operator;

(d) A copy of the UAV system operating limitations; and

(e) Evidence that the training required in condition 40 has been completed.

Note: In order to provide Transport Canada Inspectors and police authorities the ability to fulfill their duties to ensure aviation/public safety, the UAV pilot/operator is required to have immediate access to the above noted documentation at the location where the UAV is being controlled from. It is expected that a hard copy of the exemption is on site.

(13) A person conducting operations under this exemption shall immediately produce any of the documents and/or information listed in condition 12 above to a peace officer, police officer, or Transport Canada inspector upon request.

Note: This condition simply provides clarification to the pilot/operator that Transport Canada Inspectors or peace/police officers have authority to request documentation be provided so that they can verify that operations are being conducted legally.

If documentation cannot be produced the flight is to be shut down immediately and reported to Transport Canada.

When the City receives requests, they require the following information:

  • Company contact information
  • Pilot contact information
  • Proof of liability coverage
  • Description of UAV operating system, including performance limitations
  • Evidence that the operator has the appropriate knowledge, training on the UAV system and qualifications for the area and type of operation as referred to in Transport Canada Advisory Circular 600-004
  • Estimated schedule and logistics
  • Site control measures
  • Aerial survey procedures/flight procedures
  • Site hazard evaluation/Risk assessment
  • Personnel and roles
  • Security plan including
  • Failsafe procedures
  • Low battery levels
  • Boundary incursions
  • Emergency plan

For more information regarding drones and where they are permitted, visit: Transport Canada – Drones

J.G. Asks: Does the noise bylaw cover landscaping noise? Can landscaping companies can operate on Sundays?

Answer: Yes, that is correct. Work can occur at anytime or day and the bylaw does regulate noise. Landscaping can occur on Sundays, however noise created by construction equipment must happen between 7am and 7pm Monday to Saturday. Noise created from the use of power tools or any construction equipment listed below is prohibited on Sundays before 9am.

  1. Construction Equipment” means any equipment or device designed and intended for use in construction, or material handling, including but not limited to, air compressors, pile drivers, pneumatic or hydraulic tools, bulldozers, tractors, excavators, trenchers, cranes, derricks, loaders, scrapers, pavers, generators, off- highway haulers or trucks, ditchers, compactors and rollers, pumps, concrete mixers, graders, or other material handling equipment including chainsaws.

T.J. asks: What’s with all the speed bumps on Drury, Prospect and elsewhere?

Answer: These (and other) streets have been under review for several years. Despite a number of measures (speed limit reductions, traffic controls, speed message board, police patrol etc) people continue to speed here. Residents along these streets have been asking for further traffic measures.

The city goes through a process before installing any traffic calming measures: poll neighbours to ensure majority support; install traffic tubes to measure volume, speeding; determine the best traffic measure; consult with residents; make any changes, then proceed with installation. You can ask for the studies showing they met the warrants for traffic control by contacting Brent.Jefferson@burlington.ca

This is more about driver control than traffic control. If everyone would slow down, we wouldn’t need these measures. That would be everyone’s preference. Until then, we need to take steps to ensure safety.

 – Compiled by Amy Wallace

8 Comments

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  1. I don’t mind the idea of installing speed limiting devices along residential streets, but I wish that some effort was made to improve traffic flow east-west along the major routes before further slowing them down. I have been using Prospect as a way to get home and avoiding the tragically clogged Fairview and left turn onto Brant that often takes 3 lights and am now met with backlogs from people going 5kph over speed bumps!

  2. I commend the city for installing effective measures to stop racing from happening on Ghent Ave. and Prospect St.
    Enough was enough, too many hair-raising close calls and actual collisions for a 40Km neighbourhood.

  3. Instead of spending Tax payers money installing speed bumps( and compromising vehicle suspensions) lower the speed to 30 km and install photo radar. Set the minimum threshold at 40km and create a revenue stream. That would be less costly and more effective than the speed bumps which are also an ugly visual.

    • Having lived in Calgary where ticketing is a goto revenue stream, I hope this never happens here. Getting a ticket for doing 33km/h in a 30km/h zone is a much uglier thing than a speed bump. I’d like to see some real statistical analysis on the impact of predatory ticketing on road safety vs traffic calming. That being said I’m sure local auto shops are looking forward to all the new suspension work bound to come there way.

  4. I contacted Transport Canada and Halton Police when I discovered unauthorized drone shots of my and several neighbours’ backyards published on a Royal Lepage website virtual tour marketing a neighbour’s house this past spring. This was after I caught the drone operator redhanded and already contacted the realtor to express my concern with lack of authorization. The message from Transport Canada and Police was that this activity is illegal and an invasion of my privacy which I conveyed to the agent. No one seems to care in the wild west of Burlington.

    • I looked out the patio door of my house and saw a drone hovering over my property, ran out and confronted the person at the controls, he was very indignant but got in his car and drove off.
      After a few calls I learned I should have called the Police.
      Next time BMW man….Next time.

  5. A couple of interesting observations on the speed bumps…
    1. It looks like some drivers are slowing down to less than 15 kph going over the bump. Unfamiliar drivers may not anticipate cars slowing down unexpectedly on such a busy street and between intersections. Even driving at the posted speed limit I’ve quickly come upon drivers who’ve slowed down to 10 kph.
    2. The speed bumps should be driven over at the posted speed limit. The effect on car suspension is the same at 10 or 40 kph. Also you’ll save your brakes.
    3. Driving over the bumps brought back memories of my school days when we all rushed to the back of the bus waiting for the driver to hit a bump in the road. Everyone would go flying up in the air and we all wanted to see if anyone hit the roof. Hilarious. Thanks for brining back the memories.

  6. How is it that the City overacts to supposed road speed safety issues by installing so many large speed bumps, four way intersections, traffic lights and road narrowing? I assume that the idea is to encourage traffic to use the main arterial roads but they are already clogged. Meanwhile, the Council just voted to allow 23+ high-rise buildings. What then?

What's your take?