Empowered by court ruling, Vancouver police crack down on loud pipes

Vancouver police are once again cracking down on loud pipes, and thanks to a  court ruling, they say they can now hand out tickets without doing a decibel measurement.

News sources (CTV, CBC) are reporting the Vancouver police are repeating last year’s attempts to crack down on noisy motorcycles. However, instead of objectively measuring noise output using decibel meters (as other Canadian municipalities usually do), the Vancouver police are instead saying a 2012 BC supreme court ruling allows them to hand out tickets for loud pipes on a subjective basis. If they think your bike is too loud, they can give you a ticket ($109), without doing any calculation of actual noise output.

Possibly, that’s because the BC Motor Vehicle Act is somewhat vague on the subject of loud pipes (you can read for yourself below—there’s no decibel limit listed).

Muffler

7.03 (1) A motor vehicle propelled by an internal combustion engine shall be equipped with an exhaust muffler consisting of a series of pipes or chambers which ensures that the exhaust gases from the engine are cooled and expelled without excessive noise.

Cut-outs prohibited

(2) No person shall drive or operate a motor vehicle propelled by an internal combustion engine when the muffler with which the vehicle is equipped is cut out or disconnected from the engine.

Part removal prohibited

(3) No person shall drive or operate a motor vehicle propelled by an internal combustion engine equipped with a muffler from which has been removed any baffle plate or other part.

Alteration prohibited

(4) No person shall drive or operate a motor vehicle propelled by an internal combustion engine equipped with a muffler the exhaust outlet of which has been opened or widened.

Noise increase or flames prohibited

(5) No person shall drive or operate a motor vehicle propelled by an internal combustion engine equipped with a muffler or exhaust system to which is attached any device which increases the noise of the expulsion of the gases from the engine or allows a flame to be emitted from the exhaust system.

20 thoughts on “Empowered by court ruling, Vancouver police crack down on loud pipes”

  1. This whole deal is like listening to the gun (and gun control) advocates.
    What constitutes legal ? Let the courts decide then STFU.
    I wonder how much money is spent in the good old You Ess of Eh on LOUD PIPES and how much of that dollar figure is spent on government lobbying ?
    I wonder a lot, don’t I ….?

  2. If they only enforce this law against motorcycles, I think you might have a reasonable case in court (if you can be bothered to spend the money to go through the process) on the basis that the law is discriminatory against a particular class of road users.

    But let’s face it, we know what this is largely targeted at – straight pipe (or close to it, anyway) cruisers, which make an obscene and ridiculous amount of noise even just pulling away from a stop gently.

    I do hope the law would also be used to target excessively loud vehicles of all types – next on my list would be those diesel pickups with 6″ exhausts and seemingly little if any baffling.

  3. Now, I hope that Alberta, namely Edmonton follows suit. Noise on many of our streets is unconscionable- all generated by testosterone laden imbeciles.

      1. When you let the police decide on what is loud and what is not you open up the possibility of abuse of power or at the least inconsistent enforcement. if there is no decibel limit how does any one know what is loud. Personally I don’t like loud pipes ( ie non OEM the way it comes from the factory ) They are installed to show just how loud you can be without instant deafness. Perhaps if the law stated that only OEM pipes could be installed then the loudness may be quieter

  4. Haha – looks like NOTHING but stock pipes in B.C.!
    Any change from stock is specifically disallowed.
    Hey these are the laws and motorcyclists must be aware I guess, heheh…
    But your typical Yosh system is gonna flunk those laws point by point, boom boom boom.
    Flunk! Yes obviously the cops can write tickets with no dB meters or etc. required.

    1. I admit, the debate over whether loud pipes are good or bad is tedious – the same old arguments, back and forth, with nobody seeming to really listen to each other. The issues of legislation and new methods of enforcement, however, are relevant news and we’ll continue to report them as they are updated. They affect too many people to be ignored. If you don’t like reading about it, just click over to the next story. There’s lots of variety on this site.

      1. Agreed: The debate remains painfully relevant to all motorcycle riders in Canada, whether 1% or not. These laws are not being created by some tiny minority who hate bikes: The laws are being created by legislatures and legal systems who are pushed by the general public to “do something” about the damned noise.

        We need to remember that what seems acceptable to us may really piss off the citizens who have to listen to it. They phone their reeve/mpp/mla/mp and bitch or provide a “campaign donation” for some peace and quiet, and eventually something happens to make OUR lives more difficult.

        So to all the asshats who put straight pipes on their cruisers or open exhausts on their squidly bikes, and also all the cretins who put cans on their Civics: Knock it off and quiet your ride. You’re getting us all screwed.

      2. “If you don’t like reading about it, just click over to the next story.”
        Really ? You’re sounding like my old nemesis Joe Berk. 😉

        1. What “next story” would that be – the one about Buell or bikes which aren’t imported to Canada?

      3. I’ve had enough of your vacillation! You are a poor journalist! Not once have we discussed the effect of synthetic oil on tubeless-tired bikes with loud pipes.

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