Toronto city staff to investigate “noise cameras” to fight loud vehicles


Pardon the pun, but it’s been a bit of a quiet year in the War On Loud Pipes. We usually see a half-dozen Canadian cities announcing crackdowns on “noisy vehicles,” with motorcycles targeted in particular. This year, we haven’t seen much of that news.

But, now that riding season is almost over here, the city of Toronto is looking at new options to fight vehicle noise. CBC reports city council has asked staff to investigate the possibility of using “noise cameras” to identify vehicles that are making excessive noise, using the wonders of technology to then automatically issue a ticket through the mail system, similar to a speed camera.

This technology actually originated in western Canada, with both Calgary and Edmonton testing these devices in past years, with less-than-positive results. More recently, the technology has made it over to Europe, where cities are investigating the tech as a way  to quieten city streets.

The idea is, these cameras will take the biggest problem out of enforcement of loud-pipe laws: Manpower. Police departments are not keen to take officers off robbery, assault and other serious criminal investigations, or good old-fashioned patrol work, to hand out noise tickets that are often thrown out in court. The noise cameras require little manpower to run, and they’re on-duty 24-7.

Now, Toronto’s staff will examine this technology, with a report delivered to council in early 2022, supposedly. If we had to predict an outcome, it’s most likely they will not recommend the idea. Although taxpayers are generally fed-up with loud vehicles, the noise camera experiments haven’t resulted in widespread adoption in Canada at this point.

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