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Disturbed by excessive car noise? Start telling the police

Police to target excessive noise from vehicles in November

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Disturbed by excessive car noise? Start telling the police

In response to frequent complaints, Kawartha Lakes Police Service will be targeting vehicles that are causing excessive, or unnecessary noise.

Members of the Kawartha Lakes Police Service will be monitoring areas where complaints about noisy vehicles often originate, such as major intersections in Lindsay throughout November.

Drivers could face fines of $110 if they are charged with making unnecessary noise, or having an improper muffler, and up to a fine of $10,000 and a driver’s license suspension if they are charged with stunt driving.

In a story from last August in the Advocate, Sgt. Dave Murtha of KLPS said at the time that a lot of complaints from the public would spur police to act on this issue.

“There are many products sold for vehicles such as license plate covers, tint for windows and loud muffler systems…that are legal for retailers to sell, but not necessarily legal for drivers in Ontario to add to their vehicles,” said Murtha.

Many of these products come with warnings to buyers that the product may not comply with local laws and regulations, he points out, but this is often ignored by the consumer.

“When the vehicle owner makes modifications to the muffler system or adds a new system designed to be loud, there could be an offence taking place,” he said.

Murtha said many officers will charge a driver with unnecessary noise, rather than an improper muffler charge, if the exhaust system of a vehicle is excessively loud. The evidence for the charge is based on the officers own observations and their opinion about the noise emanating from the vehicle.

“Police services do not rely on some type of device to measure decibel readings for noise coming from a vehicle, as the Highway Traffic Act does not specify an acceptable decibel level for vehicles,” he notes.

The sergeant says an officer will therefore rely on his or her own observations.

“For example, did pedestrians nearby stop and appear disturbed by the noise of a vehicle as it accelerated loudly from an intersection?” This could also include unnecessary squealing of tires.

Roderick Benns is the publisher of The Lindsay Advocate. He is the author of 'Basic Income: How a Canadian Movement Could Change the World,' and is also on the communications team of the Basic Income Canada Network. An award-winning author and journalist who grew up in Lindsay, Roderick has interviewed former Prime Ministers of Canada, Senators, and Mayors across Canada. He also wrote and published a series of books for youth about Canada's Prime Ministers as teens.

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