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?