City of Victoria weighing options in backup beep conversation

The backup beep conversation will continue at the City of Victoria, but they're also looking at involving regional and provincial governments.

Councillor Charlayne Thornton-Joe introduced a motion to direct staff to look into changing the sound to a softer one. She said she had been informed by the Downtown Residents Association that it was a problem for many residents downtown.

She said they association wants the softer noise to just be overnight.

“Nobody has a problem with the noise in the day time, because they expect noise in the daytime,” Thornton-Joe said. “Most of the problems are in the dead of night when you’re sound asleep and you hear this ‘beep-beep-beep’ and it wakes you up.”

Councillor Ben Isitt introduced a motion to direct staff to also write letters for other levels of government to consider this as well, which Thornton-Joe said is a good idea.

“We should still reach out and see if policy can change at other levels because that way you’re not in one municipality, then go to another municipality where the rules change,” Thornton-Joe said. “What we’re going to do is write a letter to see if it can also be considered regionally, and provincially, and perhaps federally as well.”

One concern people have is that the softer sound will be less safe, which Thornton-Joe says is being considered.

“One of the key issues in making this decision is in not jeopardizing safety,” Thornton-Joe said.

“I’ve had a lot of people send me reports where the beeping sound sometimes has not helped with safety because you don’t know where the sound is coming from, whereas the new technology really focalizes, if you’re a certain distance from the vehicle it will go off…and direct the sound to the person in that vicinity.”

Staff will present their report at the next quarterly update in June.

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