Throughout the warmer months, The City receives hundreds of traffic noise complaints from citizens. As such, The City's Municipal Policing Services and Red Deer RCMP are enhancing traffic noise enforcement in noise hotspots. Patrols will focus on motorists creating excessive noise through rapid acceleration, revving, modified exhaust systems, loud stereos, and other common noise culprits.
RCMP and Community Peace Officers (CPOs) have two ways to address excessive traffic noise: the Community Standards Bylaw and the Alberta Traffic Safety Act.
- Community Standards Bylaw: Amended in May 2022, section 5.1 of the bylaw identifies maximum allowable decibels (dBA) by vehicles at idle (92 dBA) and at speed greater than idle (96 dBA). Under The City’s Community Standard Bylaw, tickets for excessive noise start at $250 for a first offence, and increase to $500 for the second, and $1,000 for a third offence.
- Alberta Traffic Safety Act: Sections to address noise complaints of vehicles and motorcycles are:
- 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.
- 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, or from any thing or substance that the vehicle or a part of the vehicle comes into contact with.
- 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 p.m. and 7 a.m.
- The fine under these three sections is $162.
To report a complaint:
Call the Police non-emergency line at 403-406-2200 with the vehicle description and license plate of the offending vehicle. You may be asked to come to the detachment to write a statement.
Do not use 911 to report noise complaints. 911 is for emergencies only and misuse of it may endanger lives.
Join our Know Your Noise Event to find out where your vehicle rates! Head to the event page for more details.
Parties and loud music
RCMP receive numerous noise complaints in the summer months regarding loud music and conversation at house parties. It is important to note that tickets may be issued to the person disturbing the peace of their neighbours, or to the property owner, who is ultimately responsible for what occurs on their property.
RCMP apply The City of Red Deer Community Standards Bylaw (Noise) when addressing these complaints:
- 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.
To report a complaint:
Call the Police non-emergency line at 403-406-2200 with the address of the residence generating the noise. Do not use 911 to report noise complaints. 911 is for emergencies only and misuse of it may endanger lives.
Other noise complaints
RCMP also receive noise complaints regarding the use of machinery, equipment or tools in residential and industrial neighbourhoods. Some of these uses are permitted and others violate City bylaws.
CPOs apply The City of Red Deer Community Standards Bylaw (Industrial/ Construction Noise) when addressing these complaints:
- Section 6 (1) does not prevent the continual operation or carrying on of an industrial activity that is a permitted use, an approved discretionary use, or a non-conforming but not illegal use as defined in the Municipal Government Act.
- Section 6 (2) requires that those carrying on an industrial activity will make no more noise than is necessary in the normal method of carrying on that activity.
- Section 7 prohibits using or allowing the use of any tools, machinery or equipment that will create a disturbance in a residential building between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. on any day, with the exception of certain activities (see full bylaw for details).
- Exceptions: these provisions do not apply to work carried on by The City, or by a contractor carrying out the instructions of The City, or to contractors carrying out snow removal from commercial or industrial sites that are not adjacent to residential districts (see full bylaw for details).
To report a complaint:
Call the Police non-emergency line at 403-406-2200 with the address of the residence or commercial building generating the noise. Do not use 911 to report noise complaints. 911 is for emergencies only and misuse of it may endanger lives.
Can you resolve an issue yourself?
Your safety is of the utmost importance; in some situations, it is best to leave the conflict resolution to the RCMP. However, many situations can be resolved without calling the police. These tips can help you communicate with your neighbours which may help you address issues before they become full-blown conflicts:
- Get to know your neighbours.
- Talk to neighbours before you do anything noisy that may impact them.
- Take your neighbour’s concerns seriously, even if they seem unimportant to you: when people feel heard and understood, it’s easier to work through a problem.
- Don’t assume the other person knows there is a problem - sometimes they don’t, and other times the conflict may be the result of a simple misunderstanding.
- Make an attempt to talk or write to your neighbour before calling the police; be calm and try to state the impact their actions are having in a clear, nonthreatening manner.
- Try to focus on the problem rather than on the person.
A little neighbourly courtesy can go a long way to making summer an enjoyable, conflict-free time for everyone.