B.C. drivers that create unnecessary noise with their vehicle or radio can be subject to fines under the Motor Vehicle Act. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Island drivers with noisy vehicles can be subject to hefty fines

Saanich Police explain the laws that limit excessive noise from vehicles

Vancouver Island drivers who create excessive noise with their vehicles run this risk of receiving a hefty fine.

On Feb. 4, a driver with a noisy exhaust drove past a Saanich police officer in an unmarked vehicle. The driver was pulled over and the officer discovered that the person was prohibited from driving. The car was impounded and the driver will eventually have to appear in court.

Const. Markus Anastasiades, public information officer for the Saanich Police, explained that under the Motor Vehicle Act (MVA), unnecessary noise carries a fine of $109.

According to section 7A.01 of the MVA, any person operating their car in a way that creates loud and unnecessary noise is eligible to be fined.

Most commonly, drivers operating vehicles and motorcycles “equipped with aftermarket exhausts that create excessive noise” or are not equipped with a muffler end up getting pulled over for noise violations, Anastasiades said.

The driver of such a vehicle would be issued a violation ticket for unnecessary noise and a notice ordering that repairs be made by a specific date, he noted.

The Saanich driver whose car was impounded didn’t receive a ticket for their noisy exhaust, but they were issued an order to have the muffler repaired, Anastasiades said. The fine for ignoring the repair order could set the driver back $598.

Anastasiades pointed out that officers aren’t required to use a measuring device to prove how loud the car is. Subjective and objective evidence would be used to prove the offence, he said.

There’s also a potential for B.C. drivers to be fined for creating unnecessary noise with their vehicle in other ways.

READ ALSO: Unclear laws to blame for cupholder cellphone tickets: lawyer

The 1984 film Footloose portrayed a fictional Midwestern town of Bomont where dancing was illegal and playing loud music in the car could get you a fine.

While B.C. doesn’t have a dance ban, drivers playing their music too loudly could be subject to distracted driving laws such as driving without due care which can result in a $368 fine, Anastasiades explained.

“We recommend that motorists enjoy their music at a reasonable level that still allows them to hear sirens, horns or other sounds that would alert them to react to pending hazards,” he said.


@devonscarlett
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devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

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