University of Alberta student Stuart Young contested a pair of tickets he got last July, when a police officer, supposedly using the testing method described below, determined that his bike was too loud. The fines totalled $500.
Young’s case was dismissed yesterday after commissioner William Andrew could not be convinced that the SAE-approved testing method was properly executed when Young was given the tickets.
According to Edmonton bylaw 15442, sound must be measured using an approved “sound level meter” and a motorcycle cannot be operated if it is capable of:
1. emitting any sound exceeding 92 dB(A), as measured at 50 centimetres from the exhaust outlet, while the engine is at idle; or 2. emitting any sound exceeding 96 dB(A), as measured at 50 centimetres from the exhaust outlet, while the engine is at any speed greater than idle.
According to edmontonpolice.ca, operators will get a $250 fine if their bikes exceed 92 dB(A) at idle, 96 dB(A) at 2,000 rpm for bikes with less than three cylinders and 100 dB(A) at 5,000 rpm for three and four-cylinder bikes.
Commissioner Andrew put the testing method into question when it could not be proven if ambient sound was taken into account, or if the bike’s exhaust was at the minimum required distance from obstacles, as stipulated in the SAE testing method.
Other municipalities will likely be watching the outcome of all of this, as Edmonton was the first city in Canada to implement such a testing procedure.
Unfortunately for the other Edmonton motorcyclists who might feel they were wrongfully ticketed for excessive noise last summer, this doesn’t mean they’re off the hook. They’ll still have to show up in court, where each case will be handled individually.
Makes you wonder what the Edmonton police will do with the eight sound-testing kits they bought, which Global News Edmonton reported last year cost $24,000 apiece, if the bylaw is changed.