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Noisy vehicles facing new Saskatchewan standard

Noisy vehicles in Saskatchewan will need to level up to the new provincial standard of 101.3 decibels or under.

SGI, in rolling out the new benchmark states that if a police officer pulls a driver over because they suspect the vehicle is too loud, the driver will have to pay to get the vehicle tested at an SGI-certified light vehicle or motorcycle inspection station. Failing the test, the driver will have to bring their vehicle into compliance or face the prospect of having the vehicle’s registration cancelled.

Tyler McMurchy with the provincial insurer says that the police officer will essentially issue a ticket to the driver to get the vehicle tested at an SGI station.

“It is fairly loud. We are talking about situations where a police officer might pull over a vehicle because they say you’re making a lot of noise – much more than is typical of a vehicle and much more than would be expected in an urban environment where you’re not racing or you’re not doing any kind of stunting behaviour.”

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SGI is hosting a couple consequence free testing sessions in Regina on June 17 at the 440 Fleet Street (SGI Salvage parking lot), and in Saskatoon on June 24 at 110 English Crescent (SGI Salvage parking lot).

McMurchy explained the testing will take place in a set environment where the driver will have to rev the engine to certain speeds for the decibel measurement to be carried out.

In Alberta, there are vehicle decibel noise standards for Edmonton, but only for motor-cylces. Also, in 2012, saying that the Alberta Traffic Safety Act had sufficient regulations, the Alberta government left it up to municipalities to set their own standards. That decision was rejected by the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association.

In Lloydminster, the bylaw deals with operating a motor vehicle in a manner not to disturb and annoy others. It references issues like time of day, volume and duration of the sound, but does not specify a decibel level.

McMurchy points to existing laws while recognizing that Saskatchewan is likely the first province to specify a decibel level for vehicle noise.

“There are already laws in place that prohibit excessively loud vehicles. There is also a requirement under the vehicle equipment regulations that a vehicle be equipped with a muffler that effectively reduces engine noise.”

McMurchy adds that under the new policy there can be a fine, but the aim is to bring compliance by testing and if needs be removing the vehicle’s registration until compliance is achieved.

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