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'No vehicle is sold noisy': Edmonton councillor launches petition to target loud vehicles on city streets

Edmonton city councillor Michael Janz has launched a petition asking the city to look into increasing fines and automated enforcement or an outright ban to curb noisy vehicles in the city.

“I have 12 different petitions out there on a range of issues from safety to renters, and this one is just – this one has been the most popular. People across the city are so fed up with this issue,” Janz told CTV News Edmonton.

Currently there are two ways the driver of a loud vehicle can be ticked in Edmonton: Either under the existing city bylaw, which has a specific decibel threshold while idling and accelerating and only applies to motorcycles, or under the Traffic Safety Act, which bans certain modifications on vehicles to make them louder.

Janz would like to see a universal bylaw with a decibel level attached.

He says the city has a number of options, from increasing the fines from the current $250, to lowering the current 85-decibel limit to 74 like in European cities, to putting a curfew or ban on loud vehicles on specific roads like Groat Road.

“No vehicle is sold noisy. These vehicles are being consciously tuned up by the driver to make them more annoying. So that deserves the largest ticket that we can muster,” he said.

“We need to dramatically increase the fines. I’ve suggested $5,000 for the first time, $10,000 for the second time. I'd like to see vehicle confiscations. I’d like to see people having their licence and registration yanked.”

He’s proposing the use of automated cameras and microphones for enforcement.

“We need that noise photo-radar. It’s a great way to give out tickets and a great way to silence the streets,” Janz said.

“They can pinpoint to a licence plate very easily who’s making the noise. The technology is there, the solutions are there, we just need the political will to implement them.”


The Edmonton Police Service says that enforcement of the noise bylaw can be tricky, and technology isn’t always a perfect solution.

The city piloted an automated system a few years ago with mixed results.

“It would pick up EMS sirens and what not, but it wouldn’t necessarily pick up a noisy motorcycle that went by unless it was a heavy acceleration for example,” said Sgt. Kerry Bates of Edmonton Police Service Traffic Safety Unit.

EPS' existing Project TENSOR (Traffic Enforcement Noise/Speed Offence Reduction) focuses law enforcement resources on hot spots around the city to reduce noise and speed problems.

While 1,800 tickets and notices of direction documents to have deficiencies corrected were handed out between May and September 2021 as a result of the program, Bates admits there are still challenges.

“It’s a bit like playing whack-a-mole from night to night to know where they might show up, whether it’s Groat Road, or some other periphery of 144th Avenue in the north end,” Bates told CTV News Edmonton.

“We could go and sit on Groat Road, for example, and maybe get three tickets out of two or three people that go there. It’s not really super cost effective.”

For both men, the issue is ultimately about safety.

“The noise is just the symptom we hear, but it’s dangerous driving and it’s a much, much more serious problem than merely a few people being disturbed,” Janz said.

He says 500 people have signed the petition so far. Council will discuss the issue next week.

With files from CTV News Edmonton's Jeremy Thompson. Top Stories

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