Nfld. & Labrador

St. John's has power to curb motorcycle noise, Davis says

Service NL Minister Paul Davis says he doesn't think province-wide action is necessary to address what is primarily a St. John's problem — excessive motorcycle noise in the city's downtown.

Service NL minister sees no need for provincial action on downtown city problem

The provincial government says St. John's city council can enact a bylaw banning excessive motorcycle noise. (CBC)

Service NL Minister Paul Davis says he doesn't think province-wide action is necessary to address what is primarily a St. John's problem — excessive motorcycle noise in the city's downtown.

In fact, Davis says, city council has the power to deal with the matter itself.

"Under the City of St. John's Act, it appears to me to clearly give council the authority to regulate and prohibit the use of noisy vehicles in the streets," Davis told CBC News.

"So they have the authority to do this in St. John's. I'm not sure why they haven’t done it yet."

Recently, St. John's city council called for the provincial government to change legislation to help deal with the ongoing issue of loud bikes in the downtown area. 

Davis says he’s discussed the matter with the RCMP and the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary. If the city passed its own bylaw, the RNC — which provides police service in St. John’s — would support council in enforcing it, according to Davis.

The minister says he hasn't discovered any province that's dealt with the issue of loud motorcycles on a provincial scale. Municipal governments in Edmonton, Winnipeg and Bathurst, N.B., have done so.

He noted the problem seems to be mostly limited to downtown St. John’s. Changing provincial law would require action for all of Newfoundland and Labrador, such as acquiring equipment to measure decibel levels.

"I’m not sure that we need to try and attempt to solve a St. John’s problem to affect the entire province," Davis said. "I’m not sure that’s the right approach to go."

St. John’s city council has said it acted on the advice of the RNC in seeking provincial help.

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