Red Deer, Alberta – As the warm weather arrives, so does the season of noise pollution. Every week of the summer, RCMP receive numerous complaints regarding noise from vehicles and house parties.
“RCMP regularly receive complaints about vehicle noise from citizens across the community, and modified mufflers are the biggest issue in creating excessive vehicle pollution,” says Constable Derek Turner of the Red Deer RCMP. “Drivers should be aware that they risk fines if their vehicle noise is in violation of traffic laws and City of Red Deer bylaws.”
Drivers should also be aware that RCMP and CPOs follow up on Traffic Vehicle Notices; if notices are not complied with, the follow-up ticket carries a fine of $233 and four demerit points. Those tickets are issued under Section 58 of the Alberta Highway Traffic Act (Use of Highway and Rules of the Road Regulation).
“Some vehicle noise is normal and to be expected in cities, but RCMP want to remind everyone that excessive noise is not acceptable,” Turner says. “Your right to make noise ends at the point where it infringes on others’ ability to enjoy the outdoors or to get a decent night’s sleep.”
Vehicle noise & penalties:
Vehicle noise complaints include revving at intersections, accelerating too quickly, excessively loud stereos or vehicles with modified exhaust systems. RCMP and Community Peace Officers apply these sections of the Alberta Highway Traffic Act when addressing vehicle noise complaints:
- Section 61 (Vehicle Equipment Regulation) prohibits mufflers that create excessive noise or produce flames or sparks, prohibits widened exhaust outlets, and prohibits devices attached to exhaust systems or mufflers that increase vehicle noise. The fine is $155.
- Section 82 (Use of Highway and Rules of the Road Regulation) prohibits emitting loud and unnecessary noise from a vehicle or any part of it, whether the noise is caused by a modified muffler or by the driver operating the vehicle in a way that causes excessive noise, such as revving the engine at intersections, or squealing tires. The fine is $155.
- Section 87 (Use of Highway and Rules of the Road Regulation) prohibits driving a motor vehicle in a residential area in an unduly disturbing manner between 10 pm and 7 am. The fine is $155.
Party noise & penalties:
Other common noise complaints include loud music and parties. RCMP ticket these complaints through The City of Red Deer Community Standards Bylaw, Part 1 (Noise), which states that no person shall cause or permit any noise that annoys or disturbs the peace of any other person, or allow property that they own or control to be used so that noise from the property annoys or disturbs the peace of any other person.
- Section 3 (1) Prohibits people from causing or permitting noise that annoys or disturbs the peace of any other person.
- Section 3 (2) Prohibits property owners from permitting property that they own or control to be used so that noise from the property annoys or disturbs the peace of any other person.
- Section 3 (4) In determining what constitutes noise likely to annoy or disturb the peace of other persons, consideration may be given, but is not limited to, the type, volume and duration of the sound, the time of day and day of the week, and the nature and use of the surrounding area.
- Fines for a first offence are $250; that amount doubles for a second offense and triples for the third and subsequent offences. Habitual offenders may also be charged with Mischief under the Criminal Code.
RCMP will continue to enforce vehicular and other noise pollution throughout the year. Noise complaints should be reported to the RCMP complaint line at 403-343-5575. It is not appropriate to call 911 for noise complaints; 911 is for emergencies only. RCMP require a vehicle description and license plate number in order to follow up with vehicular noise complaints.
For more information about noise pollution in Red Deer, go to www.reddeer.ca/noise.
Cst. Derek Turner
Red Deer RCMP