Published online at GlobalTVEdmonton.com on February 17, 2011.
Linda Hoang, Global News: Thursday, February 17, 2011
Motorcyclist wins case against noise ticket
It’s being called a majory victory for motorcyclists in the city.
An Edmonton man who received a noisy motorcycle ticket last summer challenged the ticket in court on Thursday and won, something he believes will change the way noise bylaw tickets are dealt with in the future.
The noise bylaw was created as a way to deal with complaints of excessive noise in neighbourhoods around Jasper Ave. and Whyte Ave.
But many in the motorcycle community, including Stuart Young, felt they were being discriminated against because of the vehicle they drive.
Young’s ticket said noise from his bike tested at 103 dB when the city limit is 96 dB. He took the ticket to court and the commissioner determined Thursday that the testing method was unfair and Young’s ticket was tossed.
“They were tested incorrectly,” Young said. “For motorcyclists it means first of all that they have something to help them when they go to court.”
Young says the noise testing system is flawed and his case could help all motorcyclists who believe they’ve been unfairly ticketed.
“This will set a precedent and it will give everyone else who needs to go to court a reason for their tickets to be thrown out as well so, very excited for that,” Young said.
“I agree that we need to look at noise but City of Edmonton, this is the wrong way of doing it. They really need to take a second look at this.”
But Coun. Karen Leibovici said the bylaw specifically targets motorcycle noise because that’s what had been determined as the biggest problem.
“We did hear from our citizens that noise created by motorcycles was an issue,” she said.
What this means for the noise bylaw remains unclear at this point, but Coun. Bryan Anderson said police believe the tools they use to test motorcycle noise is valid and that the city would have to wait to see how more motorcyclists react to any future tickets to determine what will happen next.
“All kinds of bylaw enforcement will find difficulty especially when we’re relying on machines and technical settings of gauges and so on and so forth,” he said.
“The police believe this toolkit that allows them to test motorcycle noise is valid and they feel comfortable defending it… I think that until I’m proven different, I think each ticket is going to have to be fought in front of a judge.”
With files from Vinesh Pratap