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Excessive vehicle noise is outlawed in Innisfail

Squealing of tires, revving of internal combustion engines, loud accelerations among infractions of new Innisfail bylaw
Innisfail town council has approved third and final reading of a Traffic Bylaw amendment that gives RCMP and local peace officers the authority to enforce excessive vehicle noise in the community. Johnnie Bachusky/MVP Staff

INNISFAIL – Souped-up muscle cars had better behave in Innisfail as a recently-enacted bylaw amendment takes effect.

And they better keep their engines revving low as decibel meter-armed RCMP and Innisfail peace officers now have a legal “toolkit” to keep them in line.

Following brief remarks on Feb. 12 from Gary Leith, manager of the Town of Innisfail's fire and protective services department, Innisfail town council approved third reading of a traffic bylaw amendment by a vote of 6 – 1.

Coun. Jason Heistad was the only member of town council who opposed bringing in the new bylaw amendment.

“The department will work with the protective services team to develop an educational plan and materials to inform the public of this change and our enforcement level,” said Leith.

On Jan. 22, town council approved the first two readings of the proposed traffic bylaw amendment.

The vote for both readings was 6 - 1 in favour, with only Heistad opposing.

However, because there was not unanimous vote to move to third and final reading approval could not be made until the next council regular meeting, which was Feb. 12.

“This is a tool in the toolkit for our community peace officers to use, and part of that will be the decibel readers, which I think are important, and maybe not just for noisy vehicles,” said Town of Innisfail Mayor Jean Barclay following the bylaw approval. “Those decibel readers can be used for potentially other incidents where they're dealing with noise complaints.

“I don't want people to think that everything's now going to be dropped and we're now chasing noisy vehicles. That's not the case at all. It's just that this is a tool in the toolbox for them to use when they do get complaints.”

The new bylaw amendment specifically defines excessive vehicle noise.

The bylaw amendment describes it as disturbing noises such as squealing of tires, the revving of internal combustion engines, loud accelerations, roaring or explosive sounds, and sounds from radios, stereos, televisions, or other devices within motor vehicles.

The amendment description also includes any sound exceeding levels of 92 decibels or more, as measured by a sound level meter at 50 centimetres from the point of reception while the motor vehicle’s engine is idling.

It also includes any sound exceeding sound levels of 96 decibels or more as measured by a sound level meter at 50 centimetres from the point of reception while the motor vehicle’s engine is at any RPM greater than idling.

If he or she refuses to comply with sound level meter test instructions they face an even bigger fine of $500.

As for the cost to taxpayers for the new bylaw initiative, training for community peace officers and RCMP will have a price tag of $6,000.

The town is also purchasing four decibel meters, two for RCMP and another two for peace officers, at a cost of $850 per unit.

There will also be an annual calibration fee of $100 per unit.


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