Why do RCMP not enforce vehicle noise regulations?

Dear editor,
Now that spring and the 'driving season' are here, I have a simple question for Record motoring columnist Tim Schewe:
Why does the RCMP choose not to enforce Section 7.03 of the Motor Vehicle Act?

Dear editor,Now that spring and the ‘driving season’ are here, I have a simple question for Record motoring columnist Tim Schewe:Why does the RCMP choose not to enforce Section 7.03 of the Motor Vehicle Act?Said section states that, “A motor vehicle propelled by an internal combustion engine shall be equipped with an exhaust muffler consisting of a series of pipes and chambers which ensures that the exhaust gases from the engine are cooled and expelled without excessive noise.”Paragraphs 2, 3, 4 and 5 also prohibit cutouts, removal of muffler plates or baffles, enlarging the exhaust outlet and attaching any device which increases the noise emitted. Table 3 of the section sets a maximum noise level permitted by light trucks at 83 decibels.I am certain that the pickups and motorcycles that routinely rattle the windows of my house are emitting way more decibels than 83. If the muffler fell of my car I would be making less noise than these super loud vehicles make every day of the week but I bet that I would not go for more than a couple of days before I was stopped by the RCMP and ordered to rectify the situation.So how does this work then? If I put oversize tires on a pickup, I can put “pretend mufflers” on it and make as much noise as I want? If I happen to own a Harley, I can throw the mufflers away and pretend I’m riding a fast bike while busting everybody else’s eardrums in traffic? The reluctance of the RCMP to enforce Section 7.03 of the MVA is particularly baffling when one considers that the drivers of these super loud vehicles always display aggressive driving behaviors in their quest to make as much noise as possible. While aggressive driving might be a subjective concept, 83 decibels is not.The RCMP could put a dent in aggressive driving by simply enforcing Section 7.03. At the moment this lack of enforcement is actually encouraging and promoting aggressive driving.Francois Lepine,CourtenayTim Schewe responds: This is one of the more “popular” complaints that people make to me, and you can see some of them on my DriveSmartBC website atwww.drivesmartbc.ca/search/node/motorcycle%20noise%20-right.During the course of my enforcement career I learned that unless the motorcycle had no muffler at all I was probably wasting my time writing a traffic ticket to the rider. Even then I once had a provincial court judge dismiss the ticket and after court tell me that it really wasn’t an important matter anyway.Simply testifying in court that the noise was excessive most often did not convince the justice to convict. Citizen complainants could have tipped the balance by appearing to testify but they were rarely interested beyond their complaint to the police.You mention the decibel levels set out in the regulations. They apply when the vehicle is being tested in a facility under specified testing conditions, not at the side of the road. They require a decibel meter to measure and I never had one available to me to use.I did take every opportunity available to me during my patrols to deal with noisy vehicles. I ticketed what I thought I could get a conviction for, ordered those with more defects than the exhaust to inspection and dealt with the balance by ordering the vehicle repaired. I have no doubt that if the newspaper prints the letter, there will be a reply from the “loud pipes save lives” faction. They are completely convinced that unless their motorcycles make significant amounts of noise to announce their presence that drivers of larger vehicles will fail to notice them and drive into them instead. These people are very difficult to convince that they need an adequate muffler.I disagree with you that a lack of noise enforcement promotes aggressive driving. A lack of aggressive driving enforcement promotes aggressive driving and that is definitely not happening.

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