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SGI creating new policy to identify excessive vehicle noise

SGI creating new policy to identify excessive vehicle noise
Traffic winds it way through Prince Albert in this file photo from 2015. -- Jason Kerr/Daily Herald

Vehicle owners in Saskatchewan will soon be able to know exactly how loud is too loud as SGI works on a new provincial policy to define excessive vehicle noise, with its expected implementation set for late spring or early summer 2023.

“Right now, determining whether a vehicle is excessively loud is up to the discretion of law enforcement which can make it difficult to enforce because the criteria is subjective,” said J.P. Cullen, chief operating officer of the Saskatchewan Auto Fund. “This policy will remove all guesswork by introducing an objective way to measure whether or not a vehicle is creating excessive noise.”

SGI says having objective criteria will allow vehicle owners to know whether their vehicle is excessively loud so they can make the necessary changes to bring it into compliance.

“Laws against excessively noisy vehicles are not new,” said an SGI spokesperson. “But the intent behind developing the policy is to let people know what the rules are and standardize how they are enforced, so people can ensure that their vehicle is complying with the law.”

The spokesperson said there has been an increase in concerns from municipalities raised over vehicle noise in recent years, specifically from urban centres, prompting SGI to launch an excessive vehicle pilot project in Saskatoon in 2021.

Using an objective method of measurement and decibel threshold to identify if a vehicle was creating excessive noise, safety officers worked with vehicle owners to ensure modifications were made to bring their vehicle within standards.

“The results of the pilot project were successful, which led to further discussions on how to objectively identify excessive vehicle noise, which led to where we are today,” said the spokesperson.

Over the next few months, SGI will be working to finalize the standard of how to better identify excessive vehicle noise, which will involve completing any required Request for Proposal processes, working with partners, and finalizing the policy and implementation plan.

Following the policy finalization, SGI will be hosting educational days with opportunities for motorists to test their vehicles. The tests will be done without any consequences, so motorists can gain an understanding if their vehicle is over the established threshold.

SGI will be providing more information to the public once the policy is finalized.