Summer can be a noisy time of year in the Kootenays between motorboats zipping along the water, kids screaming at splash pads and modified motorcycles roaring through the streets.

That last one led 4,300 people to sign a petition in the West Kootenay last summer. It asks the RCMP to crack down on excessive motorcycle noise.

 As well, the Regional District of Central Kootenay has committed to presenting to a letter to B.C. Attorney General Suzanne Anton, asking for better enforcement of the province's excessive noise laws.

Kaslo's Art Mason, one of the people behind the petition effort, said the bikers are a real problem.

"It's just one after the other, after the other, just all summer long," he said. "They may think they go by and they're the only one. They don't realize that two minutes after them, there's another group … it goes right into their houses, the noise."

But Ian McLeod, president of the West Kootenay Road Runners motorcycle club, says he understands some of Mason's concerns, but he doesn't think loud bikes are a frequent occurrence in Kootenay towns and highways.

He says a lot of the groups of bikes that ride through are on charity rides, and many local businesses benefit from the business bikers bring with them, including international tourists who have heard about how good the Kootenays are for riding.

"If it's going to be a problem for, say, our motorcycle group, to try and raise money in the area, maybe we need to change routes," McLeod told Radio West host Rebecca Zandbergen. "I'd rather listen to a motorcycle go by for five minutes than listen to my neighbour mow his lawn for an hour and a half between the lawnmower and the weed eater and then a leaf blower."

The Regional District of Central Kootenay is also recommending the petitioners' concerns go to the UBCM's next meeting.

To hear the full story, click the audio labelled: 4,300 sign petition to crack down on motorcycle noise in Kootenays


  • A previous version of this story said the regional district planned to submit a petition to the attorney general. In fact, the district plans to write the attorney general, asking for better enforcement of noise laws.
    Mar 11, 2016 12:49 PM PT