Crackdown on vehicle noise sought

The City of Red Deer hopes that residents’ concerns about excessive vehicle noise will reverberate all the way to the provincial legislature.

The City of Red Deer hopes that residents’ concerns about excessive vehicle noise will reverberate all the way to the provincial legislature.

City council decided on Monday to call upon the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association to press the province to create standards related to noise coming from souped-up vehicles, as well as establish a method of determining or measuring noise. The province would also be asked to prohibit people from using or driving a vehicle that emitted a noise above a set regulated level.

Councillor Tara Veer said she’d like to see the provincial government act on this because “it’s noise that is impacting everybody’s quality of life.”

She recently encountered excessive noise where she lives.

“There were six individuals ripping in and out of the neighbourhood and it’s not acceptable,” Veer said. “There has to be an enforcement method.”

Councillor Cindy Jefferies urged that this become an AUMA resolution, which is then voted on by municipality members to see how much support it has before any lobbying of the provincial government is done.

She said having the province take steps on this issue is important because “we would then have some consistency” on this approach.

Last September, council decided holding off on cracking down on drivers of noisy vehicles until city staff could gauge the success of what was being done in Edmonton. That city enacted a bylaw in June 2010 to curb noise from motorbikes and from July 1 to Oct. 31 of last year, 115 bylaw changes were laid under the Excessive Noise program.

Edmonton Police carried out 16 shifts dedicated to noise enforcement during this period, producing 69 of the 115 bylaw charges.

Red Deer administration is also monitoring what is being done in Calgary.

Calgary bylaw officers have proposed becoming the first in Canada to use a noise snare, which is a different tool than what Edmonton uses. The snare captures a video image, audio recording and decibel levels.

Administration plans to work with the RCMP and legal counsel to prepare a follow-up report that will give more analysis related to Red Deer and examine options available to Red Deer.

ltester@bprda.wpengine.com