Saskatoon considers technology to target noisy drivers
Saskatoon city council is looking at technology that works like photo radar, but detects noisy vehicles rather than speeders.
City officials are considering a noise snare system, in which excessive noise triggers a camera that takes a picture of the suspect vehicle's licence plate.
The City of Calgary is trying out a similar system this month.
Bylaw officers in that city are issuing $200 tickets to motorists whose vehicles are emitting noise at volumes 96 decibels or more.
Saskatoon police Chief Clive Weighill says there is a law that targets the drivers of noisy vehicles, but tickets issued under that law are often thrown out in court.
"When we get to court, what the officer's idea of loud and excessive is compared to what a judge may be, it gives us some problems," Weighill said Monday.
"So that's why we've been asking for decibel readings or something like they have in Calgary now."
Weighill said he wants to see if tickets generated with the help of the noise snare technology would stand up in court.
"Much like when the breathalyzer came out years ago, it had to go through a court process where the courts recognized that that's a bona fide instrument," he said.
"That's what we would want to see before we spend any money, and then find out later that it's not going to be accepted by the courts."
City council has written a letter to the Saskatchewan government, asking for changes to provincial traffic legislation.
There is currently no provincial law that allows for photo radar in Saskatchewan.