A man who was fined last summer under Edmonton's motorcycle noise bylaw successfully fought the ticket in court Thursday after concerns were raised about how the sound test was conducted.
"We ultimately believe that this will set a precedent and give everyone else who needs to go to court a reason to have their ticket thrown out of court," said Stuart Young, a student at the University of Alberta. "So we're very excited for that."
The bylaw amendment, which took effect July 1, 2010, allows police to issue $250 fines to anyone with a motorcycle louder than 92 decibels while idling and 96 decibels while the engine is revving.
Young fought one of two tickets he received for his second-hand Yahama motorcycle the first nine days the bylaw was in effect.
William Andrew, the commissioner who heard the case, said he had difficulties with how police collected evidence because they didn't comply with standards set by the Society of Automotive Engineers.
While Young hailed the decision as precedent-setting, city lawyer Scott McAnsh said it doesn't give people carte blanche to ignore tickets issued under the bylaw.
"In our opinion, they're all still good," he said. "Of course, each ticket will have its own issues, and if people want to contest them, they're entitled to a trial on their individual circumstances.
"But this won't have any broader impact than on the ticket that was before the court today."
Police use a sound meter to test noise levels on motorcycles. The meter is set up 50 centimetres away at a 45-degree angle from the motorcycle's exhaust system.
Officers take one reading when the driver idles the motorcycle, and another when the engine is revved to benchmarks of 2,000 and 5,000 revolutions per minute.