Toronto introduced the amendment to the noise bylaw on October 1, and you can get fined hundreds, if not thousands of dollars for violating offences. The Toronto noise bylaw has different categories of what is considered disruptive or excessive noise. One of the categories is motor vehicle noise and bans all tire screeching, engine revving, excessive horn honking, and other vehicle-related ear sores.
Narcity spoke with a media representative for the city of Toronto to clarify how fines will be distributed and the amount.
"Fines associated with Toronto Municipal Code chapters are set by the Province. The set fines for a Noise Bylaw Offence Notice (ticket) range from $500 for most offences to $700 for failure to comply with an exemption permit," they said in the email.
"For more serious offences, Enforcement Officers can issue a Summons to appear at the Ontario Court of Justice – Provincial Offences Court. If found guilty in court, a Justice of the Peace can pass sentence that could include a monetary penalty of up to $100,000." Pretty hefty!
Law enforcement officers from the Municipal Licensing & Standards (MLS) division will respond to noise complaints from 6 a.m. until 2 a.m., 7 days a week. They will be using sound meters that measure noise in decibels.
Motorcycle emission sounds cannot exceed 92 dB(A) from the exhaust outlet as measured at 50 cm.
Motor vehicle noise is eligible for complaint if the sound is clearly audible from 9 p.m. until 7 a.m. the next day, except until 9 a.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and statutory holidays, says the official document.
"No person shall emit or cause or permit the emission of sound resulting from unnecessary motor vehicle noise, such as the sounding of a horn, revving of an engine, squealing of tires, banging, clanking or any like sound that is clearly audible at a point of reception," says the bylaw.
"We listened to Toronto residents' concerns about noise in the city and have taken action. Through consultation and research we now have an enhanced Noise Bylaw with clearer definitions, rules and a new enforcement team to help deal with noise complaints in our growing city," said Mayor John Tory.
However, the CBC reported that the city's attempts to target motor vehicle noise started in July, before the amendments to the noise bylaw. The efforts have been a flop, according to the article.
The article says that what has been hindering proper enforcement "is the lack of an objective standard for measuring when vehicles are too loud."
Now that there are clearly set decibel limits, this may change. We will have to wait and see how effective this will be for the city.