Is The War On Loud Pipes Finally Targeting Cars?

If CMGers know anything, they know that with every new year comes renewed calls for a crackdown on loud pipes. This year, we’re a bit ahead of schedule; usually, we hear the complaining from municipal leaders in early spring, but our first indication of the War On Loud Pipes’ renewal comes in the first week of January. And, this year, we news from out west that indicates the war is changing: In Edmonton and Calgary, it seems the city governments are finally ready to crack down on cars and trucks.

While CMG has always pointed out the sensibility of practicing rider safety techniques instead of relying on loud pipes to save your life, we’ve also always had a problem with laws that specifically target motorcycles. It’s highly inconsiderate to blast your neighbours with an open-piped soundtrack, and it always ends with a public crackdown and lots of hassling from The Man—but there’s no reason why those laws against vehicle noise should only affect motorcycles. According to the Globe & Mail, law enforcement in the city of Edmonton, at least, is thinking along the same lines. As per its recent write-up on the issue:

Edmonton also has an additional enforcement measure. Both the police and city bylaw officers can charge motorcyclists – but not car or truck drivers – for excessive noise under municipal rules. According to an e-mail from the police service, in 2021 officers working with Project Tensor issued 36 and 38 tickets for motorcycles exceeding 92 and 96 decibels while idling, respectively.

But Constable Clint Stallknecht, with EPS’s traffic safety unit, said excessive noise from four-wheeled vehicles is a larger problem. Edmonton officers issued 78 tickets for mufflers producing excessive noise, sparks or flames in 2021. They also issued 29 tickets for unnecessary vehicle noise and 33 tickets for widened mufflers that year.

Const. Stallknecht said Edmonton should expand its motorcycle noise bylaws to include cars and trucks. He added that establishing set decibel limits for all vehicles could reduce some ambiguity surrounding the laws.”

In an ideal world, everyone would be sensible and considerate, but since we don’t live in an ideal world, we should at least treat everyone the same, and it seems Edmonton is finally figuring that out.

That same write-up also notes the city of Calgary’s renewed interest in a vehicle noise crackdown, including a city councillor who’s suggesting some streets be pedestrian-only to stop the excessive racket. Great work, you guys in the Loud Pipes Save Lives camp! We’re all definitely going to avoid being run over by cars, if neither we nor the cars are allowed to drive at all…

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