Edmonton City Council authorizes $1,000 fine for excessive vehicle noise

Gateway Boulevard and Whyte Avenue in south Edmonton are common areas of excessive vehicle noise and racing.  (Natascha Riebe/CBC - photo credit)

Gateway Boulevard and Whyte Avenue in south Edmonton are common areas of excessive vehicle noise and racing. (Natascha Riebe/CBC – photo credit)

The city of Edmonton will take action against drivers who make unnecessary noise with their vehicles or motorcycles after the city council on Friday agreed to give officers the power to impose $1,000 in fines.

The council voted unanimously to amend the city’s traffic ordinance, increasing the fine from the current $250 under the community standards ordinance that applied only to motorcycles.

count. Aaron Paquette supports the change, noting that it focuses on people making noise on purpose by modifying their mufflers or shelling their vehicles.

“It disturbs the peace and isn’t necessary for the functioning of the city,” Paquette said.

“I think those kinds of things people said loud and clear, they’re just sick of it and they’re literally tired when they wake up at 3am.”

Until Friday’s bylaw change, the city’s bylaws only addressed noise from motorcyclists when the machines exceeded 92 decibels.

Statutory officials could also fine car and truck drivers as much as $162 under the province’s Traffic Safety Act.

The amended statute also applies to sounds made by vehicles such as music and horns.

count. Erin Rutherford agrees with the changes but warns that the tool may not solve the root problem.

“We’re not forcing our way out of these problems,” she said. “We work our way out of these issues by building communities and making connections.”

Officer’s discretion

The amended bylaws give officers discretion on a case-by-case basis as to when to issue tickets.

count. Andrew Knack noted that the rule is for people who intentionally disturb the peace.

“We don’t want to penalize people who have a busted muffler and … are struggling and have to raise the money to get where they need it.”

“This is mostly about those who have made a conscious effort to create challenges.”

count. Michael Janz originally proposed a $5,000 fine for drivers who make noise above 92 decibels.

He advocates that the city consider automated enforcement.

“If this small measure does not work, we may have to consider other measures,” said Janz on Friday.

The financial effects are not known, the city announced that there could be an increase in enforcement costs and fines in the short term.

“The longer-term expectation is that the introduction of this fine will have a deterrent effect and the number of crimes will gradually decrease as a result,” says the city ordinance report.

The amendments to the articles of incorporation come into effect immediately.

People who receive a fine can challenge it in court.


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