New Brunswick

Updated bylaw will see noisy vehicles ticketed in Fredericton

A new section of Fredericton's noise bylaw passed by Fredericton city council on Monday will see disruptively loud vehicles get ticketed $250. 

Bylaw now sets maximum decibel levels for motorcycles and prohibits car noise that disturbs others

man rides motorbike
Loud vehicles in Fredericton can now be ticketed $250. (Andrew Lee/CBC)

Excessively loud vehicles in Fredericton will soon be getting the kind of attention their drivers probably don't want. 

A new section of Fredericton's noise bylaw passed unamimously by city council on Monday will see the drivers of disruptively loud vehicles ticketed $250.

Under the new section, a motorcycle should not exceed 92 or 96 decibels, and no one is allowed to operate a vehicle that emits a sound that could disturb others. 

"We now will have with us a decibel reader that will be able to tell us whether or not a vehicle exceeds that," said police Chief Roger Brown.

Councillors said they get complaints every year of about loud vehicles, and they've gone up in the past few years. 

"And we're talking about vehicles of all kinds, it's not just motorcycles," said Coun. Stephen Chase. 

"The noise emitted by these vehicles is totally unnecessary and quite different from when these vehicles emerged from the factory. So these are modifications made largely for the purpose of creating noise."

Under the updated bylaw, police and enforcement officers can also issue a demand that the vehicle owners remove their loud pipes by a certain date. 

"And if they refuse to comply at the certain time, there are fines levied and for every day after," Brown said. "The fines will continually increase up to, I think, it's a maximum of $2,100 or somewhere in that particular range."

In 2014, a similar bylaw amendment came before council but was defeated by one vote. 

'What existed prior to this was largely toothless," said Chase. "It didn't have a standard of like a threshold of what noise is allowable.

"Part of this is we want to create a bylaw that residents and vehicle owners can look to with some certainty and say, either I'm in compliance or I'm not."

Brown said officers will give people some time to get used to the new bylaw and educate people on the new rules before handing tickets out right away. 

"A lot of the noise that is emitted from some of these motorcycles and vehicles is just carelessness on behalf of the drivers," Brown said.

"And they're trying to attract attention. And in this particular case, I can guarantee you, if they do that to attract attention, there's a high likelihood that they're going to attract the attention of a police officer in the area."