City drops appeal of motorcycle noise ticket
A man who successfully fought a ticket issued under Edmonton's controversial motorcycle noise bylaw claimed victory Thursday after city lawyers decided not to appeal the case.
"They realized their appeal had no merit," Stuart Young said. "They realized they wouldn't win taking it to court."
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 Yamaha motorcycle during the first nine days the bylaw was in effect. He said his victory sets a precedent for others.
"Motorcyclists can continue to use the same defence that I used and have their tickets thrown out in court," he said.
"I don't think it has any impact on future trials," McAnsh said. "Each ticket is still valid as far as we're concerned."
The bylaw still remains in effect and police will still issue tickets this summer.
William Andrew, the commissioner who heard Young's case in February, based his decision on the lack of evidence he felt officers collected out in the field.
Police are only required to follow the limited number of criteria the city felt was the most important for measuring sound, like how far the device should be placed from the exhaust pipe of the motorcycle.
Andrew noted there is a longer list of criteria to take into account like the distance of the test site from other buildings, officer training and wind speed readings at the time the sound was measured.
He felt the city needed to present evidence on each one of these factors and prove them beyond a reasonable doubt.
The city disagreed with the ruling and initially decided to appeal.
"Our position is that we need to prove what's in the bylaw and if a constable gives evidence that he complied with his training, that is sufficient evidence to show the device was working properly," McAnsh said.
The issue of whether the city needs to elicit that type of evidence at trial is still unresolved and could be determined through future appeals, McAnsh said.
Motorcyclists have won 14 of the 24 cases under the bylaw that have gone to court.