Saskatoon drivers with 'excessively loud' vehicles will be sent for noise testing under new program

SGI and the Saskatoon Police Service are cracking down on excessive vehicle noise in a pilot project set to run until the fall.

“Excessively loud vehicles can be a distraction to other drivers, or prevent the driver of the vehicle and other drivers on the road from hearing important things while behind the wheel, such as emergency vehicle sirens,” Staff Sgt. Patrick Barbar said in a news release.

“In addition, excessive vehicle noise can be disruptive to those living on the streets on which these vehicles operate.”

On Monday, Saskatoon police began issuing notices to vehicles in the city deemed to be excessively loud.

These notices will require drivers to contact SGI and attend a vehicle noise testing clinic. Safety officers will assess how loud the vehicles are and will work with vehicle owners to ensure modifications are made to bring their vehicles within standards.

“Currently, the determination of excessive vehicle noise is subjective. These clinics will use more objective methods and provide law enforcement with the hard data necessary to address loud vehicles on our roads,” said JP Cullen, Auto Fund vice president, operations.

“Excessive vehicle noise may be an indication that the vehicle has been modified in an unsafe manner, and we want to make sure all vehicles on our roads meet safety standards.”

The testing is free but any modifications required will be the responsibility of the vehicle’s owner, SGI says.

For light vehicles, the Society of Automotive Engineers decibel limit is 96dB. For motorcycles, the decibel limit fluctuates based on engine size between 96dB and 100dB. This aligns with limits set by other jurisdictions.

Operating a vehicle found to be creating excessive noise could result in a fine starting at $115.