Local MLA wants something done about loud motorbikes and cars

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by Mike Lloyd and Sonia Aslam Posted Apr 20, 2016

Increased number of loud noise complaints as temperatures heat up

A ticket for unnecessary noise can set you back $109 and three points

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – With this week’s record-breaking hot weather, it is the season for open windows and with that comes noise complaints. A local politician is hoping to make loud noises of his own in the BC legislature when it comes to laws governing barely-muffled motorbikes and cars.

Vancouver-West End MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert wants someone to take a closer look at testing standards for vehicles specifically when it comes to enforcing noise laws. He has written Transportation Minister Todd Stone and he says the BC Association of Police Chiefs has too about the explosive staccato of loud bikes or cars bouncing off buildings downtown.

“[I’m] calling for a uniform testing standard so they know that if they are going to crack down on somebody who seems to be breaking the law, that the courts are actually going to back them up on it because there are real questions about how the testing is done. Who does it?”

The VPD says it does regularly crack down on loud bikes and other vehicles. Under the provincial Motor Vehicle Act anything over 91 decibels for a motorcycle and 85 decibels for a vehicle can get you a ticket for unnecessary noise which can run you $109 and three penalty points.

“The other option for our officers is, what we call, a Notice of Order. And what they have to do is the registered owner of the vehicle has to get repairs done to make sure it’s in compliance with the Motor Vehicle Act,” explains Constable Brian Montague.

“It’s amazing how a small number of vehicles travelling through the downtown core and the West End can generate a large number of complaints.”

Montague adds officers have access to specialized decibel meters. “To give you an idea, a jackhammer is 130 decibels and some of the motorcycles we see are easily up to 110 or 115 decibels. Obviously, you wouldn’t want someone jackhammering outside your home in the West End or outside your business for lengthy periods of time and you don’t want noisy vehicles travelling by on a regular basis as well.”

He says some riders will insist their bikes are loud so other drivers know they’re there, but Montague doesn’t buy it. “We’ve heard that argument a lot, but there’s no evidence to suggest that’s actually true and the best way to keep yourself safe is to be a good driver. And we ask that not only of the motorcycle operators but of everybody using the road.”