Report: Anti-noise campaign has fizzled in Fredericton

In the past few years, there’s been a running storyline through Canadian cities: Many municipalities, fed up with noisy motorcycles, especially in the urban core, have banned loud pipes. Yet, when all’s said and done, very few of those towns and cities have done much to crack down on loud bikes, even after passing laws.

Fredericton is a very good example of one of those cities. Back in 2011, we told you the city was thinking about passing laws to fight against loud motorcycles. City officials didn’t get too far with an explicit anti-motorcycle law.  They tried it in 2013, and riders in the city rallied and protested, and got to keep their loud pipes, no doubt saving countless lives in the process. However, the city’s noise bylaw was still available to police, to ticket motorcyclists.

According to CBC, though, the police have not issued any noise tickets to motorcycles in the past two riding seasons. Through 2014 and 2015, despite council’s apparent interest in cutting back on motorcycle noise, the municipal police force didn’t press the issue. You can read the whole article here; it’s got quotes from a local restaurant owner, who’s surprised police aren’t doing something about loud pipes, and it’s got the usual peanut gallery of comments underneath from Internet tough guys and gals, claiming loud pipes are the best thing since sliced bread, or the worst thing since Hitler.

The moral in all this story? Increasingly, despite the public’s general disgust with loud motorcycles, it seems municipalities across Canada are losing their will to fight them. In fact, some cities are swinging back the other way. Bathurst, in northern NB, not only canned their loud pipe law, but was looking into landing a motorcycle rally this summer to increase tourism. Larger cities have had issues with enforcing their laws, and you’ve got to wonder if their police forces are questioning whether it’s worth the hassle of handing out the tickets if they’re thrown out in court regularly.

We’ve said it before on CMG: Laws that discriminate against motorcycles are a bad thing. If you want to pass anti-noise bylaws, they should target all vehicles, no matter how many wheels they have. But, if the opposite reaction is to ticket no vehicles at all, leaving inconsiderate riders to aurally assault their fellow citizens and making people sick of motorcycles, is that much better?

12 thoughts on “Report: Anti-noise campaign has fizzled in Fredericton”

  1. Police have been vigilant about enforcing anti-noise law in Vancouver’s West End. Really pisses off the Harley crowd – to the point where they have pretty much vacated the area, much to the relief of the local residents and shop owners.

    1. I will say this, as the owner of two duallies with aftermarket pipes: They’re too loud, as they are right now, and I wouldn’t want to be in a car next to one in stop-and-go traffic. However, I’ve acquired some silencers to address that issue.

  2. “We’ve said it before on CMG: Laws that discriminate against motorcycles are a bad thing. If you want to pass anti-noise bylaws, they should target all vehicles, no matter how many wheels they have.”

    What a crock of sh!t.

    Motorcycle laws already require you to wear protective clothing, and have turn signals visible from 45 degrees from the opposite side, unlike cars. Is that discrimination?

    Using the moral high ground of equality overlooks the fact that the legitimate complaints and will of the citizenry and the government. The lion’s share of urban noise offenders on the roads are bikes, period. I like an open single on full chat too, but there is literally no moral ground to stand on here. Roads are public spaces, and if motorcycles are the main source of citizen’s ire, and laws are in place, then it is the will of the people, not discrimination.

    1. There’s no money in it. Tickets are issued for PR and revenue generation concerns, nothing more.
      If the municipalities and the cops really cared, all they’d have to do is put an unmarked with a sound meter on any busy street but that ain’t gonna happen…

    2. Actually, living near a busy intersection (with traffic lights) on a busy semi-rural road, I’d have to say that there are almost as many really loud diesel pickups and heavy trucks disturbing my peaceful enjoyment of my property as there are loud bikes. Enforcement should apply to all.

      As a motorcyclist my concern is with overly-loud motorcycles, the bad image they give all motorcyclists, and the access to some places (like many gated communities, or old Quebec City) that their noise costs all of us.

      But as a homeowner and regular person, loud noise from all types of vehicles bothers me and I wish something would be done about it.

    3. And you have to wear a slow-moving vehicle sign on a tractor too.

      The difference is, laws like that are designed to take the unique hazards to a vehicle, and ensure the operator is protected. There’s no point in a car driver having a helmet, because it isn’t needed.

      However, if a car and a motorcycle are equally loud, both should get the same ticket — just as they would get the same speeding ticket. 😉

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