Saint John is the latest Canadian city and the second in New Brunswick that wants to adopt a bylaw that punishes motorcyclists for excessive noise.
Using a bylaw that was recently passed in Bathurst, New Brunswick as their role model, Saint John police say that noisy motorcycles have within the past four years become an annoying spring ritual for the city. Bathurst’s bylaw, which is awaiting provincial approval because it makes changes to the motor vehicle act, places a 92 decibel limit on exhaust noise and gives police the power to conduct road-side sound tests.
Fredericton has also been actively pursuing an anti-noise policy. Their police force is currently issuing formal warnings to motorcyclists with loud exhausts, which is determined by using a sound meter and revving the engine halfway to the indicated redline on its tachometer. For motorcycles not equipped with a tachometer, police apparently use a spark plug lead from the bike and a clamp-on meter; there isn’t any indication as to how they determine the motorcycle’s redline using this procedure.
Other cities are also considering the introduction of anti-rumble laws. Police in St. Andrews, which is host to over 5,000 motorcycles during Atlanticade, claim they receive complaints about excessively loud bikes too.
Saint John police would like to see a bylaw in place for this summer but admit that it won’t likely happen before the end of this year’s riding season. Some citizens, who are impatient with the lack of progress in stopping the din, have organized into a group called Noise-Free Saint John. They plan to raise public awareness and put pressure on the city by conducting a noise monitoring event on June 4. To be held at King’s Square, the group will use sound meters to record excessive noise levels in the area.