A St. John’s city councillor says it’s time for the province to act on complaints about motorcycle noise.
Coun. Sheilagh O’Leary says the issue revs up at city hall each spring, and has for at least the last six years.
Council has written a number of letters to the provincial Department of Government Services asking that it introduce legislation to ban after-market exhausts — tail pipes that tend to be louder than the standard ones which come on new bikes.
The Telegram contacted the department to find out what it’s done to address the concerns of councillors, who receive dozens of complaints every year.
According to an email from a spokesman, the department has “begun a cross-jurisdictional scan to look at how noise is being handled on the streets of other provinces and territories across Canada.”
The spokesman went on to say the department is also looking at national research being done by the Society of Automobile Engineers, as well as “considering other technologies which could assist law enforcement officials.”
The spokesman said he didn’t know when the research would be completed.
That’s not good enough for O’Leary.
“Every year there are letters written (to the province),” she said.
“The response, to me, is not concrete enough … . It’s still very vague.”
O’Leary said she loves motorcycles, but the after-market exhausts, which she blames for most of the noise complaints, have become a serious issue for people in residential areas downtown and close to it.
She said business owners and people who like to walk around downtown have also complained about the excessive noise.
“This is an ongoing theme, where the province really needs to step up to the bat,” she said.
“I don’t think this is really rocket science.”
O’Leary said she agrees with the province doing its research on the issue, but the province needs to let the city know the timeline of when that will be done.
She compared this issue to the ban on cosmetic pesticides.
O’Leary, and others, championed that ban for some time. The province only announced a ban on cosmetic pesticides this year.
O’Leary’s not sure what the city can do by itself, as it wouldn’t prevent motorcycle owners from going to another town or city to get the exhausts if they were only banned in the capital.
As far as O’Leary is aware, the RNC would also have trouble enforcing any rules without the proper provincial legislation.
Beyond the bother of the noise, she wonders if it also affects people’s hearing.