Q. A very annoying problem we hear on the local roads are the numerous boom boxes playing at all hours of day or night.
I think our noise bylaw should be enforced, as we have enough noise pollution as it is without these ridiculous noise boxes waking us from our sleep. Can you enlighten me on the subject, please?
A. I’m not sure that you will be surprised to find that the Motor Vehicle Act and Regulations don’t deal with noise of this type from vehicles. It only prohibits noise from the engine, exhaust system or the braking system, or from the contact of the tires with the roadway.
Police have to fall back on either a municipal bylaw or the Criminal Code when the issue gets out of hand.
No person shall make or cause any noise or sound on a highway or elsewhere within the corporate limits of the City which disturbs or tends to disturb the quiet, peace, rest, enjoyment, comfort or convenience of the neighbourhood or of persons in the vicinity.
This bylaw section from the Penticton allows police to issue a Municipal Ticket Information to violators in that city.
When there is no other legislation to utilize, the mischief section of the Criminal Code prohibits actions which obstruct, interrupt or interfere with the lawful use, enjoyment or operation of property.
I suspect that the disturbance would have to be significant to convince the Crown to proceed with a charge and the court to convict. A single boom box drive by would likely not qualify.
For more information on this topic, visit www.drivesmartbc.ca. Questions or comments are welcome by e-mail to email@example.com. Tim Schewe is a retired RCMP constable with many years of traffic law enforcement experience. His column appears Friday.