(Pixabay)

(Pixabay)

Motorcycle noise violations upsetting to Kelowna resident

Kelowna RCMP called out for lack of enforcement

Riding the open road on a Harley Davidson with the wind in your face and feeling the vibration of the engine revving out open exhaust pipes may be the ultimate motorcycling experience.

But for resident Rob Clarke, it is the ultimate nightmare, a noise intrusion into his life that he finds difficult to escape from living in Kelowna.

Whether he relaxing at his home near Glenmore Road or enjoying a cup of java and conversation at a downtown coffee cafe, the interruption from a motorcycle revving its engine as it passes by has set his frustration to a boiling point.

Clarke has become familiar with Kelowna RCMP as a constant critic in recent months about the lack of response from police to enforce civic noise bylaws or noise violations under the Motor Vehicle Act (MVA).

He has even filed an official complaint with the RCMP about their lack of action on his complaints, which is now going through the administrative process.

Clarke has also not hesitated to confront motorcycle riders directly, informing them their bikes are too loud, an effort on his part that is not often well-received.

He started an online petition last summer to push for stronger noise enforcement action that attracted more than 900 signatures, many of those from residents outside of Kelowna citing complaints about the same issue in their communities.

Typically, Clarke’s frustration is focused on Harley Davidson riders, who remove the manufactured noise mufflers in the exhaust pipes to accentuate that ultimate riding experience.

Earlier this summer, Kelowna RCMP Traffic Services Sgt. Mark Booth told a local media outlet “we have, and continue to make a concerted effort to deal with offenders as they are located.”

Booth reinforced that modifications to any vehicle, including motorbikes, that result in the removal, partial or full bypass of the muffler, or addition of a device that increases noise or produces a flame, is prohibited.

Booth said the fine for an excessively noisy vehicle could land the operator a $109 fine and two penalty points, or receive a defective motor vehicle ticket for the same amount.

RCMP can also issue inspection orders, Booth added, to force operators to fix the issue. If the repairs are not made, the registered owner will be unable to reinsure the vehicle.

But what frustrates Clarke is those policing tools, from what he has witnessed from his condo deck or around town, are not enforced.

“I have personally witnessed police cruisers two or three vehicles behind a loud Harley without a muffler without doing anything about it. My friends and neighbours have told me they’ve seen the same thing,” he said.

Kelowna RCMP Cpl. Jocelyn Noseworthy, media relations officer, said motorcycle noise complaints are addressed on a case by case basis as available resources will allow.

This past summer, Noseworthy said two specific day-long campaigns were carried out by police, a public education initiative to educate the public about contravening noise limits under the MVA, one in June and another in August.

She said the most common complaints are inconsiderate motorcyclists who leave their neighbourhood early in the morning for work.

As someone who has ridden a motorcycle herself since she was 18 years old, Noseworthy will often hear the other side of the argument as well.

“Many motorcyclists say loud pipes saves lives because it makes drivers more aware of their presence on the road,” she said.

While the city has noise bylaws, Noseworthy said the RCMP relies on the MVA as their most effective and accessible policing tool.

“We don’t have much to do with enforcing the municipal noise bylaw,” she said, noting City of Kelowna bylaw enforcement officers would assume that role.

City bylaw enforcement officers can respond to excessive motorcycle noise complaints under clauses in both the Good Neighbour and Traffic bylaws, but they don’t have the authority to stop a moving motor vehicle or motorcycle.

“The RCMP may be utilizing provisions of provincial statute, however, they can use bylaw if they choose to. As a general rule provincial statues will have more teeth than a municipal bylaw so I suspect that’s the reasoning,” said senior bylaw officer Will Scott in an email to the Capital News.

“Responsibility for enforcement of these concerns rests primarily with RCMP as they have the ability to stop vehicles observed in contravention of these sections.”

READ MORE: Air service, police dog assist Revelstoke RCMP with arrest of alleged car thief

READ MORE: Man vows to never drive impaired again after hit-and-run severely injures B.C. woman

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

City of Kelowna

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Fire crews tend to a collision that is causing severe traffic delays on the William R. Bennett bridge headed east into Kelowna. (Aaron Hemens - Kelowna Capital News)
7 vehicle collision on WR Bennett Bridge under investigation

The collision backed up traffic on the William R. Bennett bridge for much of the morning

Interior Health nurses administer Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines to seniors and care aids in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. (Phil McLachlan/Kelowna Capital News)
69 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

The total number of cases in the region is now at 9,840 since the pandemic began

Kelowna General Hospital (File photo)
Interior Health hospitals not strained by rising COVID case counts

While provincial hospitalizations rise, health care systems in the B.C. Interior remain robust, say officials

Kelowna company celebrates milestone of producing 46 million masks in under a year.
46 million masks and counting: Kelowna company reaches 1 year milstone

In under a year, Breathe Manufacturing Ltd. in Kelowna has hit production of 46 million masks for front-line workers

Peachland’s vaccination clinic was cancelled because according to the system, no one booked appointments. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press)
System ‘glitch’ causes Peachland vaccination clinic cancellation

The clinic will be back in Peachland on April 22 instead

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Top doctor warns B.C.’s daily cases could reach 3,000 as COVID hospitalizations surge

There are more than 400 people in hospital, with 125 of them in ICU

The plane blasted through an airport fence and down a hill, before stopping before a cement barrier on Highway 5A, right in front of a school bus. Photo submitted.
Student pilot crashes plane onto Highway 5A in Princeton

Aircraft hit pavement right in front of school bus

Vernon Fire Rescue Services responded to a truck fire on Dallas Road in Vernon April 15, 2021. (Brendan Shykora - Vernon Morning Star)
WATCH: Vernon firefighters quick to douse fully involved truck fire

The fire was near multiple structures and spreading along the ground upon crews’ arrival

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The father of Aaliyah Rosa planted a tree and laid a plaque in her memory in 2018. (Langley Advance Times files)
Final witness will extend Langley child murder trial into May or June

Lengthy trial began last autumn with COVID and other factors forcing it to take longer than expected

The corner of 96th Avenue and Glover Road in Fort Langley now has traffic signals, and new “touchless” signal activation buttons. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Busy Fort Langley intersection gets ‘touchless’ crosswalk signals

The new traffic light started operation in April

The organizer of a Kelowna protest against COVID-19 restrictions was fined by the RCMP for the third time Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021. (File photo)
Kelowna RCMP investigating hit and run involving 11-year-old

Police said the boy suffered minor injuries

A crossing guard stops traffic as students wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 arrive at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. A number of schools in the Fraser Health region, including Woodward Hill, have reported cases of the B.1.7.7 COVID-19 variant first detected in the U.K. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-infected students in Lower Mainland schools transmitting to 1 to 2 others: data

Eight to 13 per cent of COVID cases among students in the Lower Mainland were acquired in schools, B.C. says

Most Read