Loud Pipes Law Hasn’t Stopped Fredericton’s Noise Problem

Credit: Zac Kurylyk

Two years after passing a much-publicized bylaw that was supposed to shut down vehicle noise in the city of Fredericton, with the usual focus on loud pipes, we now see the following headline from the CBC:

Noisy vehicles remain an ‘earsore’ 2 years after Fredericton updated bylaw to tackle issue

Head over to the write-up here, and you’ll see that Fredericton’s police have only written five tickets under the new bylaw since it was put in place in 2021. Hardly the response that the city’s residents expected, but on our part, it seems like an excellent time to quote Futurama:

Reality bites

The truth is, no matter what the city’s politicians promised, the end result was always going to be the same: A bit of posturing, but no change. In fact, we predicted this two years ago, in our initial coverage:

New Brunswick’s capital likes to keep a clean white-collar veneer, but not everyone in town is happy over the city’s latest loud pipes ban. The province’s social media-savvy bikers have been grumbling about the decibel limit for weeks, and Global reports there was a protest on June 5 as a result.

No previously-unexplored arguments in that article—bikers say their loud-pipes protest is all about freedom, and a city councillor says the bylaw is in line with North American standards, and loud pipes are disrupting people’s standard of living. No doubt the result will be the same as Kingston: A few thousand bucks spent outside Fredericton by bikers, a few token tickets met with judicial nonchalance. Nothing will seriously change, resulting in loud-pipes proponents presuming police inaction equals a victory against The Man. And maybe they’re right? This issue continues to surface every year, and motorcycles are louder than ever.

In every one of these situations, and they happen across Canada every year, police end up frustrated when courts throw out their tickets, and most police don’t seem to care too much about loud pipes to start with. So what’s the answer?

The reality is, until automated “noise cameras” are rolled out, it’s unlikely anything will change—and that’s probably bad news for motorcyclists in the long run. However, if Saskatchewan’s new war on loud pipes actually has tangible results, then maybe we’ll see the automated ticketing held off. Otherwise, with many motorcyclists still insisting on blasting their way through urban traffic with exhaust noise well over the legal limit, it’s almost a certainty that all riders will eventually suffer through some sort of microphone-enabled camera system, that sends out tickets to bike’s registered owners. Or worse—we could potentially see a complete ban on aftermarket exhausts.


Join the conversation!