A city committee has asked administration to consider what options will most effectively crack down on Edmonton drivers with vehicles that cause excessive noise.
Coun. Michael Janz, who has been advocating for more action to address the issue, said doing something more about the problem has been “long overdue.”
“Citizens are furious. Citizens are frustrated,” he said on Monday, noting that he believes many of his colleagues at city hall agree “dramatic action needs to be taken on the vehicles.
“It’s a question of what should the fines be set at? What room do we have for enforcement? But everyone is sick and tired of this. There’s widespread recognition that this has to stop.”
The motion passed by the community and public services committee on Monday calls for administration to put together a report for committee “outlining options and an implementation plan” for “enhanced vehicle noise enforcement.”
The motion says options should include fine amounts, budget requirements, potential funding options and a plan for enhanced deployment as soon as the beginning of 2023.
The motion also recommends to city council that Mayor Amarjeet Sohi lobby the province on behalf of city council for changes to be made to the Traffic Safety Act to allow municipalities to ban “vehicle modifications that cause excessive roadway noise and explore tools to restrict the sale of said products.”
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It also recommends to city council that Sohi advocate for the act to be amended to allow peace officers to seize vehicles driving in excess of 50 km/h over the speed limit.
Janz said the issue of vehicle noise is not simply a “Whyte Avenue problem,” noting he has heard concerns are being raised by people across the city.
“Everyone is sick and tired of this,” he said, adding that some of the vehicle modifications result in loud noises that some Edmontonians confuse for gunshots. “There’s widespread recognition that this has to stop.
“Edmontonians are demanding action.”
While Edmonton already has bylaws that allow for fines to be issued over excessive vehicle noise, Janz has said he believes the penalties may need to be stiffer and more enforcement is required.
“We need to be deterring this antisocial behaviour,” he said.
–With files from Breanna Karstens-Smith, Global News