Toronto launching education and enforcement campaigns to crack down on noisy vehicles

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The City of Toronto said Thursday that it is trying to do more to reduce excessive noise from speeding vehicles and loud motorcycles.

Vehicles with deafeningly loud engines can regularly be heard roaring down the streets of Toronto, often late into the night as thousands of people within earshot are trying to sleep.

“The city continues to receive complaints regarding excessive noise from vehicles and motorcycles, which is often a result of speeding,” the city said in its release.

City bylaws specify that the noise from a motorcycle exhaust when idle should not exceed 92 decibels.

But while the noise bylaw prohibits unnecessary noise, bylaw enforcement officers don’t have the authority to pull over moving vehicles.

“This specific authority is granted to Toronto Police under the Ontario Highway Traffic Act (HTA), who also have jurisdiction over speeding,” the city explained.

To crack down on noisy vehicles, Toronto Police and bylaw enforcement officers will be conducting joint enforcement events throughout the summer.

The “strategic locations” for the enforcement campaign will be chosen based on complaints received by 311 and in-field data, the city said.

Police will take aim at Highway Traffic Act infractions such a speeding and illegally modified exhaust systems, while bylaw officers will measure noise from idling motorcycles and hand out fines where necessary.

In a statement, Mayor John Tory said he supports targeting excessively noisy vehicles, along with other “disruptive behaviour” that puts people’s lives at risk, such as street racing and stunt driving.

“Street racing and stunt driving is continuing to rise disrupting our neighbourhoods and putting the lives of pedestrians, cyclists and other drivers in the city at risk,” Tory said in a statement. “We also know that noise from motorcycles and modified vehicles is also continuing to rise and frustrate residents across the city.”

He said the enforcement campaign will help hold those responsible “accountable” for the cringe-inducing noise on city streets.

The city is also helping drivers better understand the noise rules by holding three educational events where motorcycle riders can get their bikes tested. No tickets will be handed out at those events, the city said.

The testing events are being held once a month through September, starting today.

  • Thursday, July 22, 1530 Markham Rd., 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Monday, August 30, 433 Eastern Ave., 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Thursday, September 30, Etobicoke Civic Centre, 399 The West Mall, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.