A new report suggests the city of Edmonton is considering hiring 10 more law enforcement officers to crack down on loud drivers.
In the report, released Thursday, the city outlines two options for dealing with noisy vehicles: keep about 20 peace officers to monitor excessive noise as part of their regular duties, or hire two specialized teams of five police officers. peace to tackle the eternal problem.
The second option, which includes two dispatchers and five vehicles, would cost $1.6 million per year.
In August, the city council’s community and public services committee asked the city administration to report back with options to improve enforcement, including fines and a plan to implement by mid-2023 .
Com. Michael Janz said he heard complaints from businesses and residents all spring and summer about excessive vehicle noise, either racing or revving their engines.
“We need to look at the application options, whether we hire five or 10 people – this is something Edmontonians have made clear they want to see stopped,” Janz said in an interview Thursday.
Noise complaints rose from 150 in 2019 to 770 in 2020 and 1,028 in 2021, according to the report.
Janz said the city should increase the fine for violating the Community Standards Bylaw to at least $1,000 to offset the cost of enhanced enforcement — down from the $5,000 fine he demanded this summer, which the council as a whole did not accept. .
“This constant abuse by a small group of Edmontonians who modify their cars to make them even louder and even more boring is completely unacceptable,” Janz said. “It’s time we got law enforcement and gave them the bill.”
The current municipal by-law does not allow peace officers to issue tickets related to excessive noise from passenger cars and trucks.
Peace officers enforce offenses under the provincial highway safety act, with fines set at $162.
City bylaws can be used to issue tickets for noise that disturbs the peace and enjoyment of the property, including motorcycles, speed brakes, and construction noise.
Fines range from $250 to $500 for the first offense and any subsequent offenses can be doubled.
The administration could duplicate the provincial fine and set the minimum fine at $500 in the bylaw, the report said.
Janz said Edmonton should look to other jurisdictions, like the city of Red Deer, which now uses noise technology to issue tickets.
The report notes that people complaining of excessive vehicle noise said it disturbed their sleep and increased their stress levels.
People also noted a lack of visible enforcement efforts, the perception that enforcement only occurs during daylight hours, and that current penalties are not deterrent enough.
The administration also collected data from the city’s noise page on its website.
From April to September, the noise page was among the top 10 most visited pages in the city administration section, the report said.