It’s become a bit of a spring-to-autumn ritual on Groat Road.
It can be heard in many of the surrounding communities — Glenora, North Glenora, Westmount, Oliver.
It’s the sound of revving vehicles. And it’s become a normal thing to hear in the middle of the night. It’s the Groat Grand Prix. After all, the gentle S-turns that Groat Road offers is kinda like what F1 drivers have to negotiate at Silverstone.
But, does the City of Edmonton need more tools to deal with the issues of noisy vehicles, or does it already have enough in current bylaws and the provincial traffic law?
On Friday, Edmonton City Council voted unanimously to add a new clause to its traffic bylaws; it states that “a person shall not create or cause the emission of any loud and unnecessary noise” from a vehicle of any sort. It’s a $1,000 fine.
“There are checkpoints to ensure fairness,” said Coun. Aaron Paquette. “If this bylaw encourages people to think twice about how they’re interacting with public spaces, it can only be a good thing. The goal here is not to punish people, it’s to discourage, frankly, antisocial behaviours that are not conducive toward building community.”
The City already had penalties in place for motorcycles, that bans noise of more than 92 dbA for all motorcycles that are idle, and then moves up depending on the revs of the bikes. Those fines were upped to $1,000.
But, and this is the big BUT (note the capital letters), the provincial Traffic Safety Act also provides police with the power to issue tickets for excessive muffler noise or if the muffler has been widened, if a vehicle is creating “unnecessary noise” or if someone is driving in an “unduly disturbing manner” from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. The fine for that is $162.