Silence the noisy vehicles

Noise Meter
Update August 12th: I will provide the following Motion for debate:

Motion: 

  1. That Administration prepare bylaw amendments to:

    1. create an excessive noise offence applicable to passenger vehicles with a fine amount of $5,000 for a first offence and $10,000 for a second offence; and

    2.  increase the fine amount for the motorcycle noise offence to $5,000 for a first offence and $10,000 for a second offence,
      and return to Committee.

Due Date: November 21, 2022, Community and Public Services Committee 


  1. That Community and Public Services Committee recommend to City Council:

    1. That the Mayor on behalf of City Council advocate to the Government of Alberta to recognize automated roadway noise enforcement tools and allows municipalities to use them for noise infractions.

    2. That the Mayor on behalf of City Council advocate to the Government of Alberta for the Traffic Safety Act to be amended to allow municipalities to ban vehicle modifications that cause for excessive roadway noise and explore tools to restrict the sale of said products.

    3. That the Mayor on behalf of City Council advocate to the Government of Alberta for the Traffic Safety Act to be amended to allow municipalities to seize vehicles driving in excess of 50 KM/H over the speed limit.

No vehicle is sold noisy. Vehicles have mufflers and must be illegally modified, often with illegal aftermarket products to be excessively noisy.

Council has the opportunity to request a report from the administration to support a dramatic increase in action where half-measures have previously failed. Project TENSOR and previous noise reduction efforts have been insufficient because of the deafening noise along many streets last summer. Cracking down on noisy vehicles will support the council in traffic safety as there is a strong correlation between excessive noise and speed.

We don't need driver education; we need enforcement. We don't need warnings; we need tickets and impounding.
The maximum allowable fine could be increased up to $10,000. The current 85-decibel limit may be too high and require a reduction to 74 decibels like in Europe. Community members also suggested noise curfews forbidding noisy motorcycles after certain hours or outright motorcycle bans along certain roads (Whyte Avenue, Saskatchewan Drive, Groat Road, Connors Road, for instance).
It's time for a crackdown.
Across Canada, citizens are demanding real traffic enforcement against excessive vehicle noise is the result of speeding, aggressive and dangerous driving, and modified exhaust systems — commonly associated with street racing and stunt driving frequently at night. (Toronto: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/excessive-vehicle-noise-residents-call-for-action-city-1.6508817)
What vehicle modifications are already illegal in Alberta? (Traffic Safety Act and Edmonton Noise Bylaws)

Exhaust regulations

  • A motor vehicle propelled by an internal combustion engine must have an exhaust muffler that cools and expels the exhaust gases from the engine without excessive noise and without producing flames or sparks.
  • A person shall not drive or operate a motor vehicle propelled by an internal combustion engine if the exhaust outlet of the muffler has been widened.
  • A person shall not drive or operate a motor vehicle propelled by an internal combustion engine if a device is attached to the exhaust system or the muffler that increases the noise made by the expulsion of gases from the engine.

Beyond the regulations above, a vehicle with a modified exhaust may also produce noise in violation of municipal bylaws.

If you are in breach of any of the equipment violations, the following could happen:
  1. You will be issued a summons for the infraction.
  2. You will be issued a vehicle compliance form. This means:
    • You will be given 60 days to repair the problem and be instructed to attend a district office to show that the repair has been completed.
    • The vehicle may be directed to a repair facility of your choice to have the repairs done.
    • The vehicle cannot be driven until the repairs are completed.
    • The officer may seize the license plate and not return it until the repairs are completed.

It is not illegal to sell modifications; it is up to the consumer to be aware of what modifications they want to do and educate themselves with the laws and also to speak to law enforcement for advice if they are unsure of what is acceptable.

If you purchase a vehicle and it has modifications it is your responsibility to make sure that the vehicle conforms to the vehicle equipment regulation. If the modifications are in contravention of the regulation, arrangements should be made to correct this or you will be subject to the fines associated with the infraction.

News coverage:

CBC News: Drivers behind Noisy Vehicles Deserve Stiffer Fines


Take Action

I read in the Edmonton Journal that UCP Transportation Minister Prasad Panda said in an email that photo radar can’t be used for noise violations. 

CALL TO ACTION:

Please Call Minister Prasad's office (780-427-2080) and ask for his help to silence the noisy vehicles.

We know that this technology can have sniper precision to hand out tickets on noisy vehicles and already is working in London, Paris, New York, and others. But this technology is being blocked by the Alberta UCP from use in Alberta because it's been included in their photo radar moratorium.

You can call his office and leave a message with his staffer who will let him know. I'm told by people at the Legislature that Phone Calls weigh more heavily than emails to the Ministers.

He's also the MLA for Calgary Foothills and this could be a winning issue for his local riding.

Panda, Prasad, Honourable - Minister of Transportation - Office of the Minister
Phone: 780 427-2080

Too late to phone? Send an email!  (Please BCC my office at [email protected])

Here's a draft that I encourage you to customize:


E-mail: [email protected],

Subject: Please help address stunting, Dangerous driving, and excessive noise 

Minister Prasad,

I am a resident of Edmonton and I urge you to take any and all action in your legislative authority to empower municipalities and law enforcement to address the issues of noisy vehicles, stunting, and anti-social driving behaviour.

The excessive noise is only part of the harm these drivers are choosing to inflict on our community with these optional modifications.

Noisy vehicles are often modified to be excessively noisy and are frustrating the police, neighbours, and families. They need your help, and this would really help endear you to residents across Edmonton.

This could be a big political win for you. There is no political downside to you, as you just need to pass the laws which the local municipalities will enforce, fund, resource, and action.

Sincerely,

Name

Address

PS: Given the public health implications cited, I would encourage you to talk with the Health Minister: 

https://edmonton.taproot.news/news/2022/08/08/more-than-an-annoyance-traffic-noise-is-a-matter-of-public-health


SECOND REQUEST:
Please share your views with other members of Edmonton City Council: [email protected] 

TAKE ACTION:

Please email: [email protected] and please cc Police Commission Chair John McDougall and, if you wish, City Council: [email protected]


Draft message - Please Copy / Paste / Customize

To: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

Subject: Dangerous Vehicle Behaviour and Noise Violations

 

Dear Municipal Leaders,

I am writing to urge you to take action on the enforcement of noisy vehicles. Excessive noise, dangerous driving, and stunting pose a major safety issue in the community to neighbours and our pets.

I live in <neighbourhood> and am negatively impacted by noise on a regular basis. 

Modified vehicles are already illegal. Please enforce the law.

These modified exhausts serve no purpose but to create noise. They use bridges, underpasses and lower than grade roadways as echo chambers, rev up engines while in neutral/clutch disengaged. They disturb our homes, our sleep, and our patio experiences. For what?

These vehicles should be removed from the roadways under the TSA which will act as a severe deterrent to all like-minded drivers:

The deafening popping noise you hear is caused by this modification https://www.motorhills.com/how-to-make-any-car-backfire-7-ways/#:~:text=The%20way%20to%20make%20your,that%20muffle%20the%20exhaust%20sound which, ironically, decreases performance. It also burns excess fuel contributing to climate change.

 

Division 2
Vehicles, Equipment, Accidents
and Removal of Vehicles

Equipment standards

65(1)  Except as otherwise permitted under this Act, a person shall not do any of the following:

(a) drive or operate a vehicle on a highway unless that vehicle complies with the vehicle and equipment standards set out in the regulations in respect of that vehicle;

Inspection of vehicles

66(1)  A peace officer may, for the purposes of

(f) direct that the vehicle or its equipment, or both, be removed from the highway or from operation and that it not be returned to a highway or operation until the vehicle or its equipment, or both, have been, as the case may be,

(4)  If a driver or an owner of a vehicle is given a direction under subsection (1)(f), a peace officer may seize the licence plate and certificate of registration issued in respect of that vehicle, and in the case of a vehicle in a prescribed class of commercial vehicles, a peace officer may seize the certificate of registration or a copy of the certificate of registration, and hold the licence plate and certificate of registration or copy of the certificate of registration, as the case may be, until the vehicle or its equipment, or both, have been, in accordance with the direction,

VEHICLE EQUIPMENT REGULATION AR 122/2009

Mufflers 

61(1)  A motor vehicle propelled by an internal combustion engine must have an exhaust muffler that cools and expels the exhaust gases from the engine without excessive noise and without producing flames or sparks.

(2)  A person shall not drive or operate a motor vehicle propelled by an internal combustion engine if the exhaust outlet of the muffler has been widened.

(3)  A person shall not drive or operate a motor vehicle propelled by an internal combustion engine if a device is attached to the exhaust system or the muffler that increases the noise made by the expulsion of gases from the engine or allows a flame to be ignited from the exhaust system. 

(4)  This section applies to a power bicycle that is propelled by an internal combustion engine. 

 

Sincerely,

<Resident>

Will you sign?

This August (2022) Edmonton City Council will have the opportunity to silence the noisy vehicles.

All options must be on the table: significantly increasing enforcement, fines, penalties for personal vehicles (including motorcycles).

 

 

Saving…
Email:
Address: 1 Sir Winston Churchill Sq, 2nd Floor, Edmonton, AB T5J 2R7