Higher fines coming for loud motorcycles, Service NL says

Both the provincial governent and the RNC say they are cracking down on illegally modified loud motorcycles.

Police chief says mischief charges possible after Signal Hill incident

Motorcycle owners who remove baffles or install modified exhaust systems now face a fine of $20, but that's going to change. (CBC)

Motorcycle owners who illegally modify their exhaust systems to make bikes noisier can expect higher fines, according to the Newfoundland and Labrador government.

Service NL told CBC News Thursday afternoon the government plans to bring forward legislative changes increasing the minimum fine from $20 to $100. The maximum fine will be increased from $90 to $170.

The department said it is also working with police to track down the illegally modified motorcycles and several owners were charged after a recent enforcement blitz.

RNC Chief Joe Boland says intimidation of residents by motorcyclists won't be tolerated. (Ted Dillon/CBC)

In the meantime, the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary said it is looking into laying mischief charges after a ruckus in St. John's Tuesday night, where a group of motorcyclists converged on Signal Hill following complaints from residents about noise.

"We're not going to tolerate bikers coming down and driving through community to almost intimidate residents there," says RNC Chief Joe Boland.

At a public forum Monday, residents said the bike noise keeps them awake, keeps their kids awake and even causes a few of them to think about selling their homes and moving elsewhere.

After the meeting, residents reported that a group of about 40 motorcyclists showed up on Signal Hill, revving their engines and making a lot of noise.

'We can get a conviction'

"We're looking at what we can do about this," Boland told the St. John's Morning Show Thursday. 

"We feel that we can under the Criminal Code, it's not something that we want to do. But if we have to do it we feel that we can enforce it, we can bring it to court and we can get a conviction under a mischief charge."

In order to lay a mischief charge, Boland said the RNC will have to prove intent to disrupt the enjoyment of the residents' property.

"Normally what you would do is you would issue a warning to the person and if they continued on with the offence, you would lay the charge," he said.

"This is a situation here where there has to be respect shown to the community," said the chief.

"We don't want to be involved in this to be starting laying criminal charges against people and potentially affecting their careers down the road. But we also have a responsibility to the citizens of our jurisdictions and we fully intend to get this situation under control."

With files from the St. John's Morning Show